Earlier this year, two separate versions of Black Flag reunited. There’s Black Flag proper, led by group founder Greg Ginn, and then there’s FLAG, featuring original vocalist Keith Morris, guitarist-singer Dez Cadena, bassist Chuck Dukowski, drummer Bill Stevenson, and Descendents guitarist Stephen Egerton. Now, Ginn has filed suit against members of FLAG, as well as former Black Flag singer Henry Rollins, despite the fact that he’s not involved in either reunion.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Ginn is claiming that he and his label, the legendary SST Records, own exclusive rights to the “Black Flag” name and iconic logo, which FLAG uses during their live shows. Ginn sued his ex-comrades on August 2, seeking an injunction against their ongoing tour. The suit, which can be read in its entirety via THR, claims that FLAG’s name and logo are “a colorable imitation” that’s “likely to cause confusion, mistake, or deception among consumers.”
In his filing, Ginn alleges that Morris and Rollins (a.k.a. Henry Garfield) lied to the United States Patent and Trademark Office on registrations. He accuses the two of “using his own label’s record covers to feign as though they’ve been continuing to use Black Flag since 1979,” as THR explains. Ginn is also lobbing a charge of “outrageous fraud” against Rollins and FLAG, arguing that they also used bootleg SST T-shirts to “show they’ve been making such products in that time.”
Part of the lawsuit focuses on Dukowski, who previously sued Ginn and SST in 2007. At the time, Dukowski was insisting that he was entitled to a portion of Black Flag’s revenue because he was still a member of the band. They eventually settled, with Dukowski reportedly agreeing to never perform under the Black Flag name or use the group’s logo for profit.
Ginn’s Black Flag are planning to release a new album, which would be the band’s first studio release since 1985’s In My Head. So far, they’ve shared two songs from the upcoming effort: “Down in the Dirt” and “The Chase.” FLAG, meanwhile, are touring the U.S. Find details below.
FLAG tour dates:
August 22 – San Luis Obispo, CA @ SLO BREW
August 23 – Fresno, CA @ Strummer’s
August 24 – Los Angeles, CA @ FYF Fest
September 13 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
September 14 – Chicago, IL @ Riot Fest
September 16 – Baltimore, MD @ Baltimore Soundstage
September 18 – Philadelphia, PA @ Trocadero
September 19 – New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
September 20 – Boston, MA @ The Paradise
September 22 – Byers, CO @ Riot Fest
November 8 – Austin, TX @ Fun Fun Fun Fest