Following the release of the May '10 issue I received a number of emails, not to mention the messageboard posts, pertaining to the picture of American Racing headers displayed over top of the American flag. First let me say that ARH, Tune Time, and anyone else involved with that article have zero responsibility in this matter. The buck stops here. I set up the shot, took it, and printed it. Second, let me apologize to those members of the military who have been trained to defend the American way of life with their own, and who may have taken particular offense. I realize that the Flag Code takes special meaning to the military, which has a long history of literally defending this flag in battle (dating back to 1777 at Cooch's Bridge). To these people and to many others, there is no exception for letting the flag touch the ground. And after thoroughly reading the Flag Code, I can assure you this is the only infraction of which I am guilty. The flag was in no way stained, soiled, or damaged in the process of taking this picture, and is currently hanging proudly in a manner in accordance with the Code.
At conception, the idea was simply to draw attention to the fact that this great product was made in America and even honored our country with its company name. I had originally planned to use some Photoshop trickery to make this happen, but with copyright laws being what they are I had to use a real flag and this became the most viable option. Unfortunately, in the process I created a very grave error. I can assure you that I do not hate this country, or those that defend it, in fact quite the opposite. My father is a former officer in the Army, and I have several friends in the armed forces, most of which didn't take offense and could have cared less. That is not to say, of course, that I think no one is entitled to be offended. As I stated in one forum post, everyone expresses their patriotism in different ways-some extremists have even burned the flag out of (what they would describe as) love for this country. However, my actions in no way were meant to desecrate the flag to make this sort of statement. Nor was it a cheap publicity stunt. It was a mistake-plain and simple.
Though I regret making this error, I would otherwise never have known how much this means to our readers and the American public. It is my hope that our readers can forgive this mistake and move forward, as I can assure you that it will never happen again. And if there is anything I can do to make it up to you, please let me know. We go to great lengths to promote the hobby and provide solace from your daily troubles, not to be a part of them.