Fact Check: Projection Of The Biden-Harris Logo On A Harley-Davidson Building Was NOT An Endorsement By The Business

Fact Check

  • by: Hallie Golden

STORY UPDATED: check for updates below.

Fact Check: Projection Of The Biden-Harris Logo On A Harley-Davidson Building Was NOT An Endorsement By The Business Union Work

Did the large image of the Joe Biden and Kamala Harris logo projected onto a Harley-Davidson location in Milwaukee indicate the motorcycle manufacturer's endorsement of the Democratic presidential nominee? No, that's not true: Harley-Davidson said it is "apolitical" and the image was projected without its consent. It was in fact set up by the United Steelworkers union.

The claim appeared in a post (archived here) on Facebook on October 20, 2020 and showed an image of the light projection. The post said:

If anyone wants to trade in there Harley-Davidson come see me I've got plenty of other cruisers!!!!!!!

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Tue Oct 20 22:09:32 2020 UTC)

This is another version of the post shared on Facebook:

Screen Shot 2020-10-20 at 2.22.31 PM.png

Lead Stories contacted Harley-Davidson on October 20, 2020 and was directed by a member of its media relations team to the company's post on Twitter, in which it said,

The image projected on the Museum was done without our consent. Harley-Davidson is apolitical.

Similarly, Lead Stories conducted a Google search and did not find any indication that Harley-Davidson has endorsed either presidential candidate.

The bat-light style logo has been repeatedly used by the United Steelworkers, an industrial union with about 1.2 million members across North America. It has projected the Biden-Harris logo, along with the union's own logo, in other high-profile buildings, whose owners also have not endorsed the Democratic candidate, including the Trump Tower in Chicago.

Jess Kamm Broomell, a spokeswoman for the United Steelworkers, told Lead Stories:

This is a USW project not undertaken in coordination with any other organization. The union has been using the light as an exciting and Covid-friendly way to start conversations about the importance of the election at a time when face-to-face contact has necessarily been limited.

The Chicago Tribune reported the union, which has endorsed Biden's candidacy, has also projected the light on Wrigley Field in Chicago, Lambeau Field in Wisconsin and Terminal Tower in Cleveland.

Updates:

  • 2020-10-21T18:19:43Z 2020-10-21T18:19:43Z
    This story is updated to add comment from a spokeswoman for the United Steelworkers.

This fact check is available at IFCN's 2020 US Elections #Chatbot on WhatsApp. Click here, for more.


  Hallie Golden

Hallie Golden is a fact checker at Lead Stories and a freelance journalist based in Seattle. Her articles have been published in such places as The Guardian, The New York Times and Bloomberg CityLab.  She previously worked as a reporter and editor for The Associated Press in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Philadelphia, Pa

Read more about or contact Hallie Golden

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