For Veterans' Day 2010, Google rolled out one of its stylized, special-occasion homepage doodles. These fanciful reworkings of the classic Google logo are sometimes playful, sometimes educational, and occasionally totally confusing. Thursday's logo, though, was met with nothing short of fury in a few places. The logo replaces the "l" in "Google" with a flagpole and an American flag, backlit by the sun. The flag partially covers the "e," and what you can see of the "e"--the bottom half, or "tail," of the letter--looks like part of a crescent moon, which some people are taking as a reference to Islam.
Is this deliberate? Judge for yourself. Meanwhile, here's a sampling of what people are saying.
Bad Choice, Google In a widely-circulated piece for Associated Content, William Browning chastises the search company for giving "crazies such as Pamela Geller, Terry Jones and Tea Party patriots the fuel they need to wage an all-out slugfest of vitriol against Islam for ruining an American tradition." Browning points to a number of Twitter users who were perplexed or offended by the logo and concludes, "The Google doodle is distasteful at best, hateful at worst, for this Veterans Day. Your Google doodle is supposed to enlighten and educate those who click on it, not cause a rift between two world powers."
Are You Serious? Browning's article, and the ire it describes, left many bloggers dumbstruck. At Wonkette, Jack Steuf's sarcastic response is representative: "That's odd. I clicked on the Google button on the AOL and it came up with a new picture. Why would they stick an American flag… OH NO. THEY DID IT SO THEY COULD STICK A CRESCENT MOON IN THERE. The Google has been taken over by Sharia law! AND ON VETERANS DAY!"
Also Looks Like: Nuclear Bomb, Satan At The Stir, April Peveteaux rounds up a couple other sinister readings from Twitter. "Today's Google logo looks like the American flag being nuked," says one. Another asks, "Why is there a devil horn coming out of the American flag in today's Google logo?"
Cookie Monster Implicated in Scandal "Good lord, dude, IT IS THE LETTER 'E,'" writes Jason Linkins at The Huffington Post. "Many episodes of Sesame Street were sponsored by this letter."
Hey Look, a Pale Horse! Choire Sicha slugs The Awl's brief item about the controversy with "The End Times."
Wait, Who Owns Associated Content? asks Gawker's Jim Newell. Why, it's... "Yahoo! Hmm!"