Assailed as 'Unpatriotic,' Google Honors Norman Rockwell

Is the search giant's latest logo redesign a bid to appear more American?

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Is Google honoring Norman Rockwell to compensate for a lack of patriotism? On Wednesday, Rockwell's birthday, Google refashioned its logo to resemble Rockwell's famous painting "Little Spooners." The search giant often does this to commemorates scientific achievement, national holidays and historical figures. But over the last few years, Google has taken heat for being insufficiently "pro-American." The Wire wonders, is the search giant using Rockwell to boost its patriotic bonafides? Let's examine where the criticisms first began.

In 2007, Joseph Farah, the editor of the conservative Web site World Net Daily attacked Google for ignoring certain patriotic holidays. "When they ignore Veterans Day and Memorial Day, I think they're telling us something about the way they view America," said Farah. The criticisms persisted after Google honored the 50th anniversary of the Sputnik launch by replacing the second 'g' in Google with a Soviet satellite. Conservative blogger Giovanni Galluci was particularly enraged. He told the L.A. Times:

It's a kick to your belly. I understand these guys are scientists and engineers and they have their quirks and want to make sure people are recognized who might not normally be recognized . . . but why not celebrate the struggles that we've come through as a people?"

While these cases always seemed a bit thin, Google's decision to celebrate Rockwell--the poet of small-town Americana--should defuse critics. Rockwell lionized everyday life and drew ads for Ford and Coca-Cola. Whatever the search site's motives, it doesn't get much more American than that.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.