Missourians will cast their ballots in the primary tomorrow, but Senate hopeful John Brunner will have to make his last few campaign stops without the RV’s military insignia. A local businessman who served in the Marines, Brunner often touts his military experience along the campaign trail. Nevertheless, brandishing the logo for political purposes is against the law, according to the Marine Corps Trademark and Licensing Program’s “Frequently Asked Questions“:
I’m running for a political office and am a former Marine. Can I use Marine Corps trademarks on my campaign materials?
No, you may not use the official Marine Corps Seal, Eagle, Globe and Anchor (EGA), or any other USMC insignia or trademark in this manner, since it might create the impression that your candidacy is endorsed by or affiliated with the USMC in some way, or that the USMC has chosen your candidacy over other candidates. You are more than welcome, to simply and accurately state that you are a Marine Corps veteran, that’s fine, that’s a fact. But using the EGA which is a trademark of the USMC, and protected by Federal law (please see 10 USC 7881) is something you may not do.
Brunner’s press secretary said they will “remove the sticker just to be cautious,” although the campaign “believes that the RV does not constitute campaign materials.”
Last month, Mother Jones discovered a similar infraction from an anti-Obama PAC purporting to speak on behalf of veterans and active duty soldiers. The group has since removed the trademarked military insignia from its website and social media pages.