Capitol Update Series:
People are selling T-shirts, key chains, mugs, and other items bearing the state seal of Oregon, but the state isn’t making any money from those sales.
However, that could change under a bill cosponsored by Sen. Bill Hansell, an Athena Republican, according to The Oregonian/Oregon Live. If approved, the state would license the seal and earn revenue from those who wish to sell merchandise bearing the Oregon logo—a shield supported by 33 stars depicting an American bald eagle, wagon train pulled by oxen, elk with antlers, British and American ships, mountains, and forests with the state’s motto “The Union.”
Vendors would be prohibited from selling merchandise bearing the seal without a license from the Oregon Secretary of State. Companies would pay a fee and royalties from the sale of such products, thereby generating revenue for state coffers.
In neighboring Washington, the Secretary of State’s Office allows only the Legislative Gift Center in the Capitol at Olympia to use the seal for commercial purposes, a spokesman said. Violators using the seal are ordered to cease and desist.
However, it’s possible Senate Bill 803 could face a challenge claiming such prohibitions violate Oregon’s liberal free speech protections.