Monday, August 13, 2012

Did Upper Deck Do the Unthinkable, or am I Overreacting?

As most of you know, Upper Deck is about to officially release their 2012 Goodwin Champions set to the masses tomorrow.  As in the past, they have included innovative memorabilia cards.  These have included everything from bugs to dinosaur bones.  This year, they commemorate the American Civil War and have included various artifacts; including pins, buttons and pieces of Old Glory.

The last items that I stated above has me a little distressed.  Apparently, a vintage Civil War American flag (that apparently flew in the field of battle) has been cut up and placed within relic cards.  A photo of the flag they used is above and was provided on Upper Deck's blog, see that post here.

At first glance I found this offensive, but Upper Deck responded to my concern by saying this:
Yes, I had the same concerns! But as Chris said, the whole team at Upper Deck and I agreed that since the flag was already cut up, torn, and therefore incomplete and in several pieces, it would actually be a respectable way to preserve and honor a flag that was otherwise essentially destroyed.
Should that have assuaged my displeasure?

Keep in mind, I'm fairly liberal in my political leanings, and often side with the free speech advocates when it comes to speech related to the desecration of the flag.  That being said, this is hardly an act of free speech.

As you can see in the photo above the flag is obviously not in one piece.  You can see remnants of the red and white stripes that no longer exist on this flag.  So, I guess I shouldn't be so concerned since it has obviously not survived in one piece.  Nevertheless, it still makes my stomach turn just a little bit.

So, please let me know if my concerns are justified or not.  Am I overreacting?

BTW, I really like the Goodwin Champions set and find the inclusion of so many unusual relic cards over the past several years to be the most innovative development in the hobby.  I just wonder, though if this may be going too far.

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  1. I think you did the right thing and that upper deck has gone a little too far this time. Historical flags should be in display as a whole, eve what's left of them, if not there are rules in place on how to properly dispose of them.

  2. I think you are in the right. I made a similar blog post a while back:

    1. I do share the same concern you have for documents. Is the autograph that is cut out really worth more than the correspondence attached to it? Don't we lose something when the context is lost? I guess we just have to trust that whatever letter they cut up has no historical significance.

  3. i'm on your side on this one. i also believe in the right to free speech as it applies to protest (and the flag), so i don't think we're over reacting here.

    apparently this was not some flag that simply hung in a generals office or a general store during that time. this was a battle flag that UD proudly proclaims: "flew over the field of conflict". within that context, this flag is almost sacred.

    they didnt do this to 'honor' the flag, or the men who died under it. it's a cheap commercialization of something the marketing team at UD apparently does not understand or respect.

    what's in the pipeline for next year, UD? sand from omaha beach, or authentic pieces of porthole from the USS Arizona?

  4. I'm a big Civil War buff and I'd like to see something that rare kept in the best condition possible. It's sad really.


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