BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Heineken beer's trademark red star may be about to fall foul of Hungary's attempts to purge itself of totalitarian symbols related to the years of Nazi occupation and, in this case, the 40 years of communist rule.
The rightist government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban, which faces an election in April 2018, says it is a "moral obligation" to ban the commercial use of symbols such as the swastika, arrow cross, hammer and sickle, and the red star.
Parliament began discussing the proposed ban on Monday. The measure would fit with Orban's style of unorthodox policy making, which has seen specific, mostly foreign-owned business sectors, targeted with special taxes and regulation.
Heineken has had a star logo on its beer for most of the years since it was first brewed in the second half of the 19th century, changing to a red one in the 1930s. The star is thought to represent a brewers symbol or the various stages of the brewing process.
But the red star was also a major symbol of Soviet communism and used to appear on the crest of communist-era Hungary.