Stop production and sales of the BLVK GRIZZLY COLLECTION for insulting the PNG flag

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The flag of Papua New Guinea is divided diagonally into two triangular sections - black on the left, and red on the right. It depicts the Southern Cross in white in the black portion, and a yellow Raggiana bird-of-paradise in the red portion. It was designed by Susan Karike Huhume in 1971, and adopted on July 1, 1971.

Papua New Guinea gained independence from Australia on September 16, 1975. The bird-of-paradise is culturally significant to Papua New Guineans and in full flight it represents freedom and the country's birth as an independent nation. The bird-of-paradise is the national bird of Papua New Guinea, and has been included in both our national emblem, and in our national flag. 

A few days ago we discovered a music video by a band from the Philippines where one of the members was wearing a white t-shirt with a flag that, at first glance, looks like the flag of Papua New Guinea. However, it is clear that the designers of the t-shirt have altered the flag by stripping off the sacred bird-of-paradise and replacing it with a yellow bear. Other elements of the flag (the colours, and the Southern Cross) have not been altered.

We later discovered that the bear is the logo for the American brand “GRIZZLY GRIPTAPE”, and they have, in collaboration with another American brand “BLACK SCALE”, been producing a wide range of merchandise featuring the “BLVCK GRIZZLY FLAG”. This collection was released in February 2018. Most products are sold out in American stores, but they appear to be still in stock in Asian countries.

Many of us have contacted both Grizzly Griptape and Black Scale’s social media, as well as various distributors, asking for an explanation, but we have not received any answers yet.

We, Papua New Guineans, consider this whole collection disrespectful, insulting, and a mockery of not only our national flag and national bird, but our country, our people and our freedom.

We encourage our neighbours in Asia to boycott this collection in support of the people of Papua New Guinea.

We demand that Grizzly Griptape and Black Scale drop this design, stop producing and selling this collection out of respect for the people of Papua New Guinea, and give us a public apology.