Update On Bible Verse Dog Tags: First Liberty Files for Injunction To Allow Christian Jewelry Company to Flout Regs that MRFF Got DoD To Uphold

Published On: May 17, 2022|Categories: Featured News|7 Comments|
Military Dog tags

Back in 2019, MRFF had a major victory in getting the Department of Defense (DoD) to follow its own regulations and disallow the use of official trademarked DoD emblems — which are strictly prohibited from being used on items promoting religion — on Christian jewelry company Shields of Strength’s Bible verse dog tags.

In December 2021, fundamentalist Christian legal organization First Liberty Institute, which is representing Shields of Strength, filed a federal lawsuit against the DoD, claiming that the DoD’s regulations are unconstitutional!

Now, First Liberty has filed a request for a preliminary injunction seeking to stop the DoD from enforcing its trademark and licensing regulations while the case is being heard.

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  1. Thomas May 17, 2022 at 12:27 pm

    Question: Is it permissible to provide, on a dog tag, the service member’s religious affiliation — upon their request and affirmation? I am thinking about the field of conflict and providing actions in line with basic human freedoms. Please direct me to things you may have written on this.

    Thank you very much!

  2. Tom O May 17, 2022 at 12:51 pm

    Yes, it’s totally “permissible to provide, on a dog tag, the service member’s religious affiliation,” which govt.-issued dog tags have always had, so if a soldier is in need of spiritual support, his unit can try to get a chaplain of that same faith. The dog tags referred to in this article are NOT the govt.-issued ones that every military member wears: they’re made and sold by a private for-profit business (a jewelry maker in this case.) As the articles linked from the Click to Read line above explain in detail (try reading them), a private business that wants to put the OFFICIAL emblems of a US govt agency on their product have to get a trademark license from that agency. Because that OFFICIAL emblem on a product implies endorsement by the agency it represents, “In accordance with subpart 2635.702 of Title 5, Code of Federal Regulations (Reference (i)), DoD marks may not be licensed for use in a manner that creates a perception of DoD endorsement of any non-federal entity or its products and services. DoD marks may not be licensed for any purpose intended to promote ideological movements, sociopolitical change, religious beliefs (including non-belief), specific interpretations of morality, or legislative/statutory change”.
    Does that answer your question?

  3. Angry Staff Officer May 17, 2022 at 4:25 pm

    The government’s trademark rules are antiquated- we could have “sponsors” pay for incidentals if we allowed branding on items like PT gear – instead the government lets some dweeb in personnel that had a degree in band make them. Too much time and money is wasted like this. License the brand – let private corporations help subsidize certain items to defray the costs of defense.

  4. Tom O May 17, 2022 at 5:45 pm

    “The government’s trademark rules are antiquated” in what specific way? Do you think that a Muslim jewelry company should be able to sell dogtag replicas with the USMC emblem, muslim religious symbols and “allahu Akbar” on them? Should the Satanic Temple be allowed to sell statues of Baphomet with the USAF emblem next to the words “Glory to Satan”?

  5. ChrisKid May 19, 2022 at 12:44 pm

    They’re suing to be allowed to use a trademarked emblem without permission of the owner of the trademark? I wonder how they would respond if another business used their logo.

  6. Tom O May 19, 2022 at 3:41 pm

    Not quite: they’re suing to force the trademark owner to give permission.

  7. Thomas May 28, 2022 at 6:32 pm

    To: Tom O

    Yes. thank you VERY much.

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