Somebody in the Rolling Stone art department might want to consider a refresher course in American history.
The venerable music magazine has gained attention for this week’s cover featuring Veep star Julia Louis-Dreyfus wearing nothing but a (presumably) temporary tattoo replica of the U.S. Constitution, with the signature of John Hancock emblazoned mere inches above her left buttock.
The cheeky cover treatment seemed both clever and fitting, considering Louis-Dreyfus plays a fictional version of the U.S. vice president on the HBO comedy hit.
But there’s one small problem: John Hancock didn’t sign the U.S. Constitution.
As every American high school graduate and regular Jeopardy! viewer knows, John Hancock, the president of the Second Continental Congress, is famous for signing the Declaration of Independence.
In fact, Hancock’s signature on that momentous document was so large and stylish that it eventually became synonymous slang for the word signature itself.
As in: Put your John Hancock on the dotted line.
The historical gaffe naturally came to the attention of the Constitution Center (@ConstitutionCTR) in Washington, D.C., which posted an image of the Rolling Stone cover alongside the original document in Signers Hall on Twitter, along with the caption, “George Washington to Rolling Stone – thanks for the shout out, but no Hancock here.”
Never one to miss a comedic opportunity, Louis-Dreyfus (@OfficialJLD) blamed the signature gaffe on her Veep character’s fictional director of communications, Mike McLintock (Matt Walsh).
And what was Rolling Stone’s excuse? A spokesperson for the magazine said, “The Julia Louis-Dreyfus cover mirrors the farcical tone of HBO’s Veep, and the signature is an Easter egg for fans of the show.”
We’ll take your word for it, Rolling Stone. This time.