File No. 811.015256.
The American Consul at Amsterdam to the Secretary of State.
Amsterdam , July 10, 1913.
Sir: I have the honor to report that the American flag is constantly to be seen floating above the entrance of a so-called “American [Page 1018] bar” on the Rokin and of a so-called “American lunch room” on the Kalverstraat, two of the most important thoroughfares in Amsterdam. Neither place is distinctively American, nor unlike other places of the same kind in Amsterdam which do not have the word “American” on their signs. The “American bar” admits upon inquiry that none of its proprietors or attendants are Americans, but the “American lunch room” evades answering a similar inquiry. The latter has a menu in English, but also in Dutch, French and German. Evidently the Stars and Stripes are displayed at these two places for the purpose of alluring Americans, of whom some 50,000 visit Amsterdam yearly and whose custom is particularly desired by traders of all kinds.
I respectfully submit this matter to the Department of State, for instructions, being unaware of any law or treaty through which this misuse of the American flag can be stopped. However, on page 135, Volume II, of Moore’s International Law Digest, a case is cited which seems pertinent, wherein the United States Minister to Brazil, in 1864, after laying the matter before the Brazilian Government and receiving its sanction and approval, issued a circular to the United States consuls in that country prohibiting the flying of the United States flag without his permission, unless by persons in an official capacity. This action, the Digest adds, was approved by the Department of State.
I have [etc.]