A Puerto Rican organization says Coors' decision to put the commonwealth's flag on beer cans is offensive. Ida Siegal reports. (Published Wednesday, May 29, 2013)
New York’s Puerto Rican community is upset that a logo on a Coors Light beer can appears to feature their island flag.
Coors is a sponsor of the city's annual Puerto Rican Day Parade, which will be held on Fifth Avenue on June 9.
"To have your nation's flag depicted on a beer can is outrageous," said Vincent Torres, a community organizer for Boricuas for a Positive Image. "It sends the message that Puerto Ricans are good for getting drunk, that's all we're good for, we're not good for anything else."
The image, first reported by DNAinfo
shows a red and white striped apple, with a white star surrounded by blue, similar to the flag. The logo is surrounded by the phrase "National Puerto Rican Day Parade Inc."
One of the themes of the parade this year is “salud,” or celebrating your health.
The National Institute for Latino Policy said that associating the Puerto Rican flag with Coors Light is “egregious." According to the National Institute of Health, Puerto Ricans struggle with high rates of alcoholism.
"It's disrespectful and it's not a good fit," East Harlem Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito told DNAinfo. "When you are talking about a flag and what it represents, being linked to an alcoholic beverage is not reflective of what our culture symbolizes."
The National Puerto Rican Day Parade denied the image was intended to represent the Puerto Rican flag or the parade's logo.
Coors said it demonstrated its official alliance and support of the organization.
"We’ve included a variation of the official National Puerto Rican Day Parade logo on our packaging, which incorporates an apple to symbolize New York, a star and red and blue colors as a demonstration of our official alliance and support of the organization," MillerCoors said in a statement.
Published at 11:39 AM CDT on May 29, 2013
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