For Immediate Release: December 26, 2008
Contact: Ioannis Fidanakis, New Jersey, Tel. 1-973-464-0211
On December 19th Senior Director of Creative Services, Mark Levitt, of CardPartner, Inc released an official statement concerning the “United Macedonian Diaspora” UMD’s Visa affinity credit card program and its use of the ancient pan-Hellenic religious symbol of the Sun of Vergina also known as the Star of Vergina. In this official statement Mr. Levitt confirms that “CardPartner is no longer offering the card featuring the ‘Star of Vergina’ image, nor will it be offered on any CardPartner products in the future”, securing the protection of the Star of Vergina from future use by the UMD with their affinity credit card program.
This victory could serve as precedents for future struggles over the symbols illegal use by Skopian revisionists and extremist’s organizations like the UMD. Mr. Levitt continues in the statement and addresses the Hellenic-American community stating, “Please know – and please be sure your supporters know- that any offense was unintentional and not done out of malice. We thank the Hellenic League of America for bringing the history of the ‘Star of Vergina’ to our attention and we are pleased to have resolved this matter professionally and without the need for a protest”.
The official statement from CardPartner comes after a two week campaign launched by the Stop the Anti-Hellenic Hate coalition on December 7th 2008. This coalition, which was a grass-roots collection of organizations and individual activists from the New York-New Jersey area, was started by the Hellenic League of America and Cyprus Action Network of America. The coalition of activists joined together to take on the mounting historical revisionism and anti-Hellenism taking place around the world.
The campaign was originally launched when a HLA activist informed the groups Coordinator of the newly created UMD affinity Credit Card displaying the ‘Star of Vergina’. The organization quickly sprung into action and with the aid of CANA, beginning a letter writing campaign for the removal of the Star of Vergina from the UMD’s credit card. This campaign for the removal of the sacred Star of Vergina took a positive step forward on December 12th when the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA) joined the grass-roots campaign bring with them the support of Hellenic Caucus Co-Chairs Carolyn Maloney (D-14-NY) and Gus M. Bilirakis (R-9-FL), who wrote a joint letter to Mr. Joseph Saunders, CEO and chairman, Visa, Inc.
When asked about the victory over the UMD, Hellenic League of America Coordinator, Ioannis Fidanakis had the following to say, “This is a historical and important victory for the Hellenic-American community. This quick and decisive victory goes to show how important grass-roots activism really is to defending Hellenism today. I hope that our community’s much larger; more established and well funded organizations capitalize on our small victory. The battle might be won, but the war isn’t over.”
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