Mongols Roll on with Name and Colors
On a warm, Southern California day last month, a group of riders from the Mongols motorcycle club took to the road on the way to a club Christmas party. As they rode the colors on their vests clearly indicated their identity – despite the fact that their identity was almost lost last summer. In a court case that tested the very nature of free speech, the Mongols found themselves defending the use of their name and logo before a federal judge. In what could only be described as a monumental victory for motorcycle clubs and their freedoms, the judge ruled in favor of the Mongols.
The dispute arose after the Mongols’ former president was successfully prosecuted in federal court. After the prosecution the government tried to seize control of the club name and logo on the grounds that they were the property of the disgraced president. Mongols lawyers fought back, claiming that as club property, the name and logo belong to the entire group. The court agreed and the rest is history.
Regardless of anyone’s opinion of motorcycle clubs, the one thing they all stand together on is freedom and liberty. As the position of the Mongols so clearly stated, no government has the authority to abridge the free-speech rights of an entire group based on the actions of one individual. This very issue was central to the establishment of this country more than 230 years ago.
Had the Mongols lost their case the club would’ve undoubtedly continued on anyway. But after 40 years wearing the pony-tailed Mongolian chopper rider on their backs, going without their traditional colors just wouldn’t have been the same. It just goes to show how important custom club patches are to motorcycle clubs. Fortunately, the Mongols got to keep theirs.
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