One of punk’s most iconic band names has provoked a new lawsuit.
Fans may be confused to see two different groups performing this year under the name of Hermosa Beach punk outfit Black Flag — one fronted by founding guitarist Greg Ginn, and another touring as Flag with Ginn’s former bandmates Keith Morris, Dez Cadena, Chuck Dukowski and Bill Stevenson.
So was Ginn. He claims he and his label, SST Records, exclusively own the rights to the Black Flag name (and “Flag” variation) and infamous logo, which Flag use on tour.
He sued his 1979-mid 1980s bandmates Friday, seeking an injunction against their current tour, which kicked off in May and will stop in Los Angeles (pending this case) for FYF Fest on August 24. The suit describes the alleged infringement of the logo and name “Flag” as “a colorable imitation” that’s “likely to cause confusion, mistake or deception among consumers.”
Ginn accuses Garfield and Morris of lying to the Trademark Office on registrations; using his own label’s record covers to feign as though they’ve been continuing to use Black Flag since 1979; and in what’s alleged to be an act of “outrageous fraud,” using bootleg SST T-shirts in an attempt to show they’ve been making such products in that time.
Also named as a defendant is Black Flag’s most famous former member Henry Rollins, known for his own music, current radio show on KCRW, a column in LA Weekly and a role on FX’s “Sons of Anarchy.”