Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Uh-oh! Heraldry in the News

An article from February 5, 2011, in the on-line Dubai newspaper The National ( notes that Buckingham Palace has warned the Dubai-based British Highways and Roads that it was using the Royal Arms of Great Britain without authorization and could be viewed as a trademark violation.

"I'm wasn't trying to steal anyone's copyright," said the director of the company, who didn't want to give his name. "I'm proud to be British and I'm flying the British flag."

Well, no, he's really not.  As you can see from the picture above, he's using the arms of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (along with the eagle of the United Arab Emirates, of which Dubai is a part), which is not at all the same as "flying the British flag."

Admittedly, though, someone at the Lord Chamberlain's noted that restricting the use of the Royal Arms overseas could be difficult.

And in fact, here we are, more than a month later, and the Royal Arms still appear on the internet page of the firm.  See it, at least for now, at

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