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Well the error tells you that the name of a Timeline-placed object cannot be modified. So it would seem that you should name it on the timeline or you should create it dynamically and give it the name you want that way.
From your response - I'm trying to figure out if there is a way to load in a movie clip and it NOT be dynamically created. I believe that using the Loader class to load in a movie is creating the movie dynamically - and that's the problem. After I load it in AS3 auto assigns "a" name - not a name that I can easily use later.
I know what the error says - obviously I can't rename it on the timeline because it's a loaded swf.
…that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
With AS3 it seems that we shouldn't get as hung up on names as we have been in the past. From my brief experiments, I don't think it is that the loader is dynamically creating a movie, but that the timeline of the external clip is an instance of MovieClip. And it is "time-line" placed by definition. When I trace the this.name from my external movie it traces "root1" by itself, but when loaded into something else it gets that "instance" name.
You can name your loader and just access its content property (cast as a MovieClip).