The American church of Saint Tom the Martyr in Tennessee is taking legal action against the enormous Kraft Heinz Company after belatedly realising that the food manufacturer had stolen its logo for the last 140 years and used it on a sauce bottle.
The famous emblem of the church (pictured) shows a stylised version of the cross in green, representing rebirth, against a red background, clearly meant to show the blood of the saviour.
The two red dots represent either the wounds made by the nails which held Jesus to the cross, or a pair of ripe tomatoes, depending on the interpretation.
The logo was a favourite design of pilgrims hundreds of years ago, and has been on display outside the church since 1875.
It was apparently only months later that food entrepreneur Henry Heinz spotted it and realised in a flash that he should add a tomato sauce to his portfolio.
“I saw the ‘catch-up’ line and it rang a bell, somehow,” he explained in his memoir I Copied The Ketchup Logo Off A Church Sign.
“The I saw the ‘lettuce’ and ‘relish’ lines, and that just clicked somehow.”
“But I still had no idea what flavour to make the relish until I read the last line – ‘Cuz He loves me from my head to-ma-toes’ – then it hit me, of course!”
“And after a year of making revolting head flavour relish, I thought I might as well try tomatoes instead. And there we are.”
As the matter is now in the hands of the lawyers, there was no comment from the church leader, the enigmatic Pastor Mayonnaise.