A Yum! Brands Vietnamese food restaurant that opened on Sept. 12 chose a questionable logo: a red, five-pointed star.
The star is the symbol for communism, and has stirred up unfortunate memories for many people of Vietnamese descent.
According to Culture Map Dallas, the new store, Banh Shop, opened across from Southern Methodist University. USA Today describes that the restaurant is a “fast-casual restaurant where folks stand in line and point to the freshly cooked things that they want for their sandwiches, salads or rice bowls.”
“A red or yellow star associating with Vietnamese food or anything Vietnamese is not a good choice,” Doan Hanh Tran said.
As Nikki Duong Koenig said, “The red star in the logo is offensive to the thousands of Vietnamese Americans who have suffered from the Vietnamese Communist regime.”
“The problem with the logo is so obvious,” Koenig continued. “When I first saw it, that was my first thought. ‘Why is there a Communist star in the logo?’ Why is it called Saigon, which is the independent republic of Vietnam?”
Koenig said that disenchantment with the logo is so great in the Vietnamese community that “banhshoplogochange” has even become a hashtag cause.
Koenig noted that next year marks the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon. “Why are we still talking about it? Because that’s so much a part of our history. Can you forget the Holocaust?”
A Yum! Brands spokeswoman did not respond to inquiries about the logo design. Yum! Brands also owns Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and KFC.
Toan Tran, whose parents emigrated to the U.S. from Vietnam, feels that the company made a bad decision with their choice of logo.
“For Vietnamese Americans, the star represents something they don’t want to rekindle,” Tran said. “Changing the logo would respect people who don’t want to relive that past.”