Court Rules That Jägermeister’s Logo Isn’t Offensive To Christians

Before Saint Hubert became an actual saint, he was a circa-7th century son of a duke who had a habit of ditching church so he could go hunting instead. According to his very Catholic origin story, he skipped mass on Good Friday and, while he tracked a stag through the Ardennes forest, the deer stopped, turned around and locked eyes with him.

A large glowing cross appeared between its antlers, and it spoke to him in a not-at-all unsettling human voice. “Hubert, unless you turn to the Lord, and lead a holy life, you shall quickly go down to hell,” the deer said, and Hubert was freaked out enough to listen. After his wife’s death, he gave away his money and possessions, moved to Maastricht in what is now the Netherlands, and became a priest.

Hubert, who is also known as Hubertus, was committed to the church until he died somewhere around the year 728, and he is now known as the patron saint of hunters, mathematicians, and metalworkers. (He’s also supposedly the patron of not getting rabies, however that works.)

Anyone who has overlapping interests in both religious iconography and making bad decisions has already realized that Hubert’s vision—that talking deer with a floating cross above its head—is also the longtime logo for Jägermeister. (The name of the liqueur means “hunt master” or “master of the hunt” in German, so it’s thematically appropriate.)

And, according to a Swiss court, despite the cross and the obvious homage to an actual saint, Jägermeister’s logo can’t be considered offensive to Christians. SWI Swissinfo.ch reports that the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property had previously tried to prevent Jägermeister from putting its stag-and-cross logo on anything but its own alcohol bottles and branded articles of clothing, because it could potentially be upsetting due to “the religious leanings of some consumers” in Switzerland.

The judges who presided over the case in the Federal Administrative Court disagreed, ruling that despite the logo’s undoubtedly Christian inspiration, most people choose to associate the deer and cross with booze, not with bishops. Because Jägermeister has used those symbols for decades, the judges said that Jägermeister had “weakened its religious character,” which makes it less likely to be offensive as, like, an improperly appropriated Christian symbol.


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