Sunday, November 11, 2007

When Does Google Change Its Home Page?

They changed it today, for Veterans Day:

But as the LA Times reported last month, they didn't do so last year:

The company defended its decision to let Veterans Day and Memorial Day pass without a special logo, saying it was trying to be respectful.

"Google's special logos tend to be lighthearted and often scientific in nature," spokeswoman Sunny Gettinger said in an e-mailed statement. "We do not believe we can convey the appropriate somber tone through this medium to mark holidays like Memorial Day."

Google has altered its logo more than 140 times since 1999, according to a gallery on the company's Web site.

The choices sometimes reflect Google's corporate fascinations. For example, the company is so enthralled with space exploration that it recently agreed to sponsor a $30-million contest to land unmanned rovers on the moon.

That passion has been reflected in logos that commemorate some of America's crowning achievements in space exploration, including lunar landings and Mars missions, and the birthday of noted American astronomer Percival Lowell.

Still, outrage increases in some corners of the Web for each year Google fails to honor Memorial Day.

In May, the Web site started a Memorial Day logo contest to "show Google that it's not so hard" to make respectful ones. It has received about 250 entries, including ones that replace the second "o" with a Purple Heart medal and the "l" with the flagpole in the Iwo Jima flag-raising.

"I have no problem with Google commemorating obscure holidays or some of the trivial anniversaries that they note," the site's owner, who declined to give his name, said via e-mail, "just so long as they also make special logos for the more significant holidays."

Addendum (3/25/08): James Joyner reports, pace Kathryn Jean Lopez, that Google changed its logo for Easter.

Addendum (3/28/08): Michael Arrington reports on Google's change today in support of Earth Hour.

Addendum (9/22/08): KLO continues her diatribe.

Addendum (4/28/09): Looks like Google keeps an archive of its holiday logos.

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