FA says its logo was 'misused' after fringe rightwing party puts three lions on election leaflet

PUBLISHED: 11:46 17 May 2019 | UPDATED: 14:01 17 May 2019

The 'three lions' device has appeared on leaflets for the rightwing fringe party the English Democrats. Picture: Archant

The 'three lions' device has appeared on leaflets for the rightwing fringe party the English Democrats. Picture: Archant

Archant

The Football Association has said that a political party has "misused" its logo after the English Democrats plastered England's three lions device on a campaign leaflet.

The 'three lions' device has appeared on leaflets for the rightwing fringe party the English Democrats. Picture: ArchantThe 'three lions' device has appeared on leaflets for the rightwing fringe party the English Democrats. Picture: Archant

The logo appears on millions of A4 leaflets delivered in Yorkshire and the Humber and the East of England as part of the English Democrats' campaigning in the European elections.

"We do not support or endorse any political party", said an FA spokesperson. "We are aware that our logo has been misused on some political leafleting and we are looking into the matter."

The FA's version of the 'three lions' logo, which adds the wording 'TEAM ENGLAND' above it, is trademarked at the Intellectual Property office.

The English Democrats say the image is a traditional heraldic device and that anyone can use it, adding that they made their own version rather than ripping off the FA's.

A screenshot of the trademark registration of the Football Association's 'Three Lions' logo. Picture: The FA / IPOA screenshot of the trademark registration of the Football Association's 'Three Lions' logo. Picture: The FA / IPO

"This is the traditional symbol of England, it's not a traditional symbol of English football," party chair Robin Tilbrook told The New European. "[The FA] have no monopoly on it."

Some Twitter users were nonetheless upset.

"Hi FA people?" tweeted @huntyhunt. "Are you happy with the English Democrats using your Three Lions logo on their Brexit leaflets? It's horrible to see the England team's brand tarnished by association."

The logo, which has appeared on England players' shirts since 1872, was further embedded in footballing fans' minds with the number one 1996 song 'Three Lions (Football's Coming Home)'.

The English Democrats is a nationalist party whose central campaign issue is English independence from the United Kingdom.

The party welcomed numerous former British National Party members into its ranks after the BNP imploded.

The party uses the slogans "English jobs for English workers", and currently is leading a legal challenge that claims the UK already left the EU on March 29.

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