SPANISH OIL COMPANY REPSOL OUTRAGES WWII VET GROUPS: What Else Would You Expect From Oil Barons?


Joe Rosenthal’s Pulitzer Prize winning WWII photo.

SPANISH OIL COMPANY REPSOL OUTRAGES WWII VET GROUPS:
WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU EXPECT FROM OIL BARONS?

American war veterans and memorial groups are reportedly outraged by a Twitter ad campaign from Spanish oil company Repsol. Repsol is best know to motorcycle racers as the sponsor of several MotoGP teams.

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ÿ Repsol oil ad.

The advertisement is considered an insult by Americans because it takes an iconic American moment, the raising of the flag at Iwo Jima during the Second World War, and uses it to sell oil by having leather clad motorcycle racers raise a checkered flag.

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The Iwo Jima flag raising was been depicted the movie “Sands of Iwo Jima,” “The Outsider: The Ira Hayes Story” and “Flags of Our Fathers.” Additionally, the United States Post Office released a postage stamps bearing the image in 1949 and 1995. In 2005 the United States Mint released a commemorative silver dollar bearing the image in this photograph.

As always, this is a tempest in a teapot for Euros (and the ad is not aimed for American consumers), who fail to understand American outrage at the idea of using the emotional and honored WWII image to promote something as frivolous as a Spanish Twitter account. The idea of belittling the sacrifice of American soldiers in order to market a product is what irks vets. Of the six Marines and one sailor in the photo (Ira Hayes, Franklin Sousley, John Bradley, Harlon Block, Michael Strank and Rene Gagnon), three would die on Iwo Jima (Sousley, Block and Strank).

Perhaps the Spanish oil company should make fun of dead Spanish soldiers and see how the war veterans of Spain feel about it.

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