The Garuda (picture below: right) is the national emblem of Indonesia which is considered sacred by the Indonesian people. So when famous fashion designer Georgio Armani used a logo (picture below: left) basically similar to the Garuda, a group of online activists and lawmakers have threatened to suit Armani for infringement of the national emblem. Please find below an article from The Jakarta Globe.
A new battle is brewing over the use of yet another Indonesian cultural symbol. But this time the alleged culprit is not in Malaysia but a tenant at two upscale shopping malls in Jakarta: Armani.
Members of a popular local Internet forum, Kaskus.com, and some lawmakers claimed on Monday that popular designer label Armani Exchange had ripped off Indonesia’s national symbol, the Garuda Pancasila, for use on a new T-shirt.
“Many of the members were not happy with that,” said Retno Wulandari, 25, a boutique owner and fashion enthusiast who is a member for the forum.
Not missing out on a chance to score political points on an issue of national pride, some members of the House of Representatives threatened to sue Armani Exchange for willfully desecrating the Garuda Pancasila. The offense carries a prison term of one year or a Rp 100 million ($10,700) fine.
“It’s very sensitive using a nation’s symbol for business profit. The Garuda is very sacred to us as a nation,” said Eva Kusuma Sundari, a member of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P
"It's such an insult for us.”
The Armani Exchange A|X Studded Eagle T-Shirt, available at its stores at Grand Indonesia and Senayan City, as well as online, looks nearly identical to the Indonesian national symbol, except the images of a bull and banyan tree were replaced by an “A” and “X.” Also, the national motto “Bhineka Tunggal Ika” (“Unity in Diversity”) located on the bottom of the symbol was replaced by “Armani Exchange.”
Ravelra Supit Lubis, marketing communications manager of Club 21, an official distributor of the Armani Exchange line in Indonesia, agreed that the T-shirt, printed in November, was similar to the Garuda Pancasila symbol.
“But it’s not something new because we have produced several versions of the shirt,” she said. “They have their own concept, and as a distributor we have no option to not order it.”
Hanifa Ambadar, 30, founder of the Indonesian style and beauty Web site Fashionese Daily, pointed out that many Armani T-shirts have a modified eagle.
“I have noticed the debate on the Garuda logo,” she said. “I think we should be happy with that: One of the [designer] brand products uses our country’s symbol. Honestly, it makes me want to buy one.”
Mustafa Kamal, chairman of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) faction at the House, said lawmakers would examine the similarities between the Garuda Pancasila and Armani T-shirt.
“If we find it a form of insult to us as a nation, we will sue the company,” Mustafa said. “But if it’s simply creativity, we will surely let people have their freedom of expression.”