In July 2021, a widely-shared tweet appeared to show a remarkable moment of symmetry during a demonstration in the United Kingdom — a police officer on horseback, swinging a baton, facing a protester wearing a jacket with the Ralph Lauren Polo logo of a polo player on horseback swinging a mallet.
The poster, Tom Moylan, added the humorous caption, “Never meet your heroes”:
In reality, the Ralph Lauren Polo logo on the protester’s jacket was the result of digital editing after the fact, rather than the picture being a record of a remarkable moment of visual symmetry. As such, we are issuing a rating of “False.”
It was captured for the AFP agency by the photographer Daniel Leal-Olivas, on June 6, 2020. The picture was taken near Downing Street in London, during a protest against racial injustice sparked by the death of George Floyd, a Black man who was killed by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who kneeled on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes, during an arrest in May 2020:
The “Polo” logo — first introduced by Ralph Lauren in 1971 — was digitally added by Marijn Achternaam, a graphic designer who specializes in fake, ironic brand advertising and product tie-ins on their Instagram page, which they describe as “Bridging the gap between art and advertising.” Achternaam posted the original phony photograph on June 18: