Swiss court rules in a bizarre case of a saint and a talking stag

Swiss court rules in a bizarre case of a saint and a talking stag February 21, 2020

ONE of the most popular herbal liqueurs in the world is Jägermeister, created in Germany in 1934 with a logo featuring a stag with a gleaming cross between its antlers.

But when the company decided to apply the logo to other products – ranging from cosmetics to entertainment services – the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property blocked the move, saying it would offend Christians.

However, this week judges at the Federal Administrative Court in St Gallen disagreed, saying that Jägermeister should be allowed to use its logo for any purpose it sees fit, because its religious symbolism had been lost in the mist of time.

The logo was inspired by an alleged encounter between a church-dodging Belgian geezer named Hubertus (or Hubert), born around 656. One Good Friday, instead of joining others at Mass, Hubert a wealthy duke, went a-hunting. As he was pursuing a magnificent stag in a forest, the animal turned to face its pursuer. Hubert was astounded at seeing a a cross between its antlers – and even more so when it gave him a telling-off.  In admonishing the hunter, the stag said:

Hubert, unless thou turnest to the Lord, and leadest an holy life, thou shalt quickly go down into hell.

Well, this so terrified Hubertus that he went full-on godly, disposed of his worldly goods, became a priest and was later declared the patron saint of hunters, mathematicians, opticians, and metalworkers. Known as the “Apostle of the Ardennes”, he was called upon, until the early 20th century, to cure rabies.

Despite the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property’s insistence that the logo was was offensive “to the religious leanings of some consumers,” the judges found this was not the case. They said that although the story behind the logo indeed stems from some nonsense concocted by Christians, today the average consumer associates it with booze rather than anything holy.

An article detailing the history of the liqueur points out that, in 1973, Jägermeister was the first company to sponsor a German football team. Players wore yellow and blue shirts that featured the logo.

I won’t touch the stuff because I discovered years ago that it gives me godawful heartburn.

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  • Cozmo the Magician

    What word flagged THIS time… oh of course… that DEMON ‮mur‬..
    I just can’t stand the taste of stuff. Now for some serious SCIENCE minded branding.. consider Bacardi ‮muR‬, has a BAT on the label. Because BATS help pollinate the cane sugar the stuff is made from.

  • Tawreos

    Why would the talking deer speak to a Belgian duke in King James English?

  • French Pandora

    Les voies de dieu sont impénétrables 😀

    Do you ever watch ghost hunting videos ? Magically, all ghosts speak and understand modern English.

  • I think that the Wholly Babble should have a pile of guano on ITS cover.

  • Silly Tawreos:

    It wasn’t SPEAKING english–it was telepathic, ffs.

  • Raging Bee

    Because everyone thinks in English no matter what language they speak.

  • Raging Bee

    …saying that Jägermeister should be allowed to use its logo for any purpose it sees fit, because its religious symbolism had been lost in the mist of time.

    In other words, because the cross is so ubiquitous and indiscriminately used that it’s shed its original meaning.

  • Tawreos

    Give me a break, I am still trying to figure out how any of this happened BEFORE Jagermeister made it possible.

  • I know, right!

  • Ergot on rye sammiches?

  • Maybe if they put a fancy explanation on the bottle?

  • Jezebel’sOlderSister

    Well, apparently god speaks three languages: King James English, Latin, and ancient Hebrew.

  • Tawreos

    I do remember one where they said the captured an evp of a voice speaking “ancient German” and I understood what it was saying and all of my German comes from WW2 documentaries.

  • Tawreos

    And 70% of the bible is written in Greek. This would explain a lot. =)

  • French Pandora

    I heard regularly funny things because I don’t understand most accents, like “ate cake” instead of “take care” 😀

  • Rann

    rumour has it, He’s added a fourth, superior, language…..’Merikan!

  • Jim Olsson

    …and Aramaic.

  • Raging Bee

    Google Translate didn’t work with that — what’s it mean?

    The fancy explanation on the bottle in the cited history article said something about a hunter’s Christchild — probably a reference to the story of St. Hubertus.

  • Raging Bee

    Including pets!

  • Raging Bee

    And wouldn’t a talking deer advise a hunter to become a Pagan instead?

  • Brian Davis

    I won’t touch the stuff because I discovered years ago that it gives me godawful heartburn.

    Another reminder from the stag of the hellfire that waits below for all of us atheists.

  • dukeofgibbon

    Somebody told me that the logo on the Jagermeister bottle translates to
    “O deer gawd”

  • Jim Jones

    > the hellfire that waits below

    Only if we were theists. For normal people, it’s an adult Disneyland – with sex.

  • Jim Jones

    This is a book title from 1969 – not politically correct now. Someone suggested it as a subtitle for the bible.

    “Helping the Retarded to Know God”.

  • Mark Palmer

    I had the same problem so I pasted it into Open Office thinking it might be a graphic instead of text. It acts like text in Writer, but the results of the paste is this:

    “?￰ンヨラ?￰ンヨモ? ?￰ンヨハ?￰ンヨモ? ?￰ンヨホ?￰ンヨハ?￰ンヨハ ?￰ンヨホ?￰ンヨリ?, ?￰ンヨホ? ?￰ンヨネ?￰ンヨメ?￰ンヨネ?￰ンヨル ?￰ンヨハ?￰ンヨリ?￰ンヨラ ?￰ンヨモ? ?￰ンヨリ? ?￰ンヨハ?￰ンヨホ?￰ンヨハ? ?￰ンヨホ?￰ンヨル?￰ンヨフ!”

    Writer identifies it as Simplified Chinese with English question marks, explanation marks, and the squares. (weird)
    Anyway, I typed the letters manually into Google Translate, and this is what I got:

    “Drink your own bite, it tastes better and is less toxic”

  • Raging Bee

    Um…okay…not exactly a ringing endorsement of any sort of beverage…

  • “You should drink your own piss. It tastes better and is less toxic”

    I’m pretty sure that I made up everything but the quotation marks.

  • I dunno about that. I’m pretty sure that Mr. Buddy The Wonderdog spoke some weird blend of Xhosa and Esperanto, with a Vogon accent!

  • amused

    “Known as the “Apostle of the Ardennes”, he was called upon, until the early 20th century, to cure rabies.”

    And apparently failed in each attempt. Jeanna Geise was the first known human survivor of rabies. She contracted the disease in 2004, and was treated by being placed in an induced coma and dosed with anti-viral drugs. Prior to her case, infection with rabies was invariably fatal.

  • Michael Neville

    I won’t touch the stuff because I discovered years ago that it gives me godawful heartburn.

    I won’t touch Jägermeister because it tastes godawful.

  • Michael Neville

    Fraktur is difficult to read if one isn’t used to it.

  • Michael Neville

    Because the deer didn’t know if Hubert was a Flemish Belgian or a Walloon Belgian and, since most Belgians speak English, talked to His Dukeness in English. Since it happened a long time ago, the deer spoke old-timey English.

  • persephone

    substitute pisse for bisse. font is too fancy

  • Even 40 years ago when I was stationed in Germany, font like that was not in common use, afaia. Not that a number of dire warnings didn’t seem to get your attention by looking like that.

  • Callace

    Yeah. It could warn him that it was sacred to Artemis, and that he would thus incite the wrath of the goddess if he continued the hunt, and should go pray for mercy at her temple instead.

  • Duncan R. Bryson

    Agreed. I tried it straight to see what it tasted like – I couldn’t finish it

  • Raging Bee

    Maybe the deer DID say that to Hubertus, but when he tried to tell his neighbors, they all gaslit the cr@p out of him and made him say it was a message from THEIR god, not his.

  • DakotaMark

    I’ve enjoyed shots of ice cold Jag ever since I was in the army in Germany from ’66 to ’70. Some American bars I went to when I got back kept their Jag on a shelf next to the other bottles. I explained that it must be iced cold and sales went up significantly. I was frequently rewarded with shots of Jag. I’m 73 and I don’t often drink these days. When I turned 70 I drank 7 shots over several hours. Yikes. That was far too much. Since then I have a shot or two on my birthday though. My bottle of Jag has been in the freezer since a friend gave it to me when I turned 60. It’s about half full.

  • DakotaMark

    Let’s not forget Arabic. Muslims believe in the same god as Jews and Christians. The Koran mentions Jesus more times than the King James Bible. Muslims have a lot of respect for Jesus but don’t consider him to be a god. That title is reserved for Allah.

  • Gord O’Mitey

    I think it’s, “Drink thine own [sweet or bites], it tastes better and is less toxic.”

  • ralphmeyer

    nitwit religious nut cases….upset with a cross…HOW DUMB! But then, religionists are known to be astoundingly stupid, so what can you expect? Ol’ Jayzus was only one of thousands crucified by the Romans, so his cross is NOTHING special! And neither is he as he’s been dead around 2 millenia.

  • ralphmeyer

    And, of course, like other gawds…nobody can prove ol’ Allah exists!

  • Gord O’Mitey

    Barry, what’s wrong with this?

    Oh yeah, I get it. Bisse must be German slang for p&#8203i​ss.

  • It clearly taking advantage of the TARDIS Translation Circuits. That means its possible that one of the doctor’s regens may have been visiting Germany in the 7th century – was in a comical mood (could have been immediate post-regen period), and thought to have a little bit of fun with that Duke Hubertus by managing a bit of tomfoolery through means of Timelord science.

  • Mind you – a stag can (apparently) even use an elevator to get to the top floor of a building in the city of Melbourne, and that’s without that stag even being able to speak!!!
    (See video at 0.40 – 0.47 point)

  • Crucifixion?

    Good. Out of the door, take one cross each, and join the line on the left.

  • David Cromie

    In German Gothic script the word ‘

  • MaryOGrady

    As a recovering Catholic, let me point out that the hallucination-prone Hubertus could not have skipped Mass on Good Friday. Roman Catholics commemorate the crucifixion of Christ on Good Friday with lengthy afternoon services, but no Masses are said on Good Friday or the following day, Holy Saturday. Masses resume on Easter Sunday each year.

  • Raging Bee

    As the recent commercials say, “Of course it’s cold — it’s German!”