Banh Shop logo

Logo for Yum! Brands banh mi restaurant angers Vietnamese community

Logo for Yum! Brands banh mi restaurant angers Vietnamese community

Banh Shop in Dallas
Banh Shop logo features a red star. Photo by Marc Lee

The new banh mi concept from Yum! Brands has a logo that has raised some ire. Banh Shop, which opened across from Southern Methodist University on September 12, features the name of the restaurant set against a five-pointed red star.

A five-pointed red star is the symbol for communism, and has stirred unfortunate memories from those of Vietnamese descent.

 "The red star in the logo is offensive to the thousands of Vietnamese Americans who have suffered from the Vietnamese Communist regime," says Nikki Duong Koenig.

"The red star in the logo is offensive to the thousands of Vietnamese Americans who have suffered from the Vietnamese Communist regime," says Nikki Duong Koenig.

"A red or yellow star associating with Vietnamese food or anything Vietnamese is not a good choice," says Doan Hanh Tran. "It's very offensive to the Vietnamese American that lives here in this country because of that corrupted communist regime."

According to Koenig, disenchantment over the logo has swept the Vietnamese community, who've made "banhshoplogochange" a hashtag cause.

"The problem with the logo is so obvious," Koenig says. "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? Any Vietnamese person or anyone who knows the history of Vietnam and the Vietnam war would absolutely recognize it."

One commenter on Facebook protested that the war happened decades ago and should be forgotten. But another offered a reminder of why the star was painful: "You'd be hurt, too, if a communist government waged war on your country, forced your family to flee for their lives with nothing in hand, and then renamed your capitol," he posted.

"Next year is the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon, it’s a huge deal," Koenig says. "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.

"In branding, symbols express much about your company's stance and I have to say this was a poorly developed logo by your company," said Nam Bam, commenting on the restaurant's Facebook page.

Toan Tran, whose parents emigrated here from Vietnam before he was born, feels that the company made the wrong choice.

"I believe the marketing of this company overlooked something that makes me angry about the logo and coloring," he says. "It's the star from the Communist Vietnamese flag. Yes, it's a different color, but to me, the Taco Bell Corporation chose something to represent the country of Vietnam that I personally think is absolutely the wrong choice.

"For Vietnamese Americans, the star represents something they don’t want to rekindle," he says. "Changing the logo would respect people who don't want to relive that past."

ADVERTISEMENT