I have always loved seals. College seals. State seals. Military seals. All that complex illustration, type and pattern packed into a simple shape. A town in upstate New York made headlines last week with a launch of its new town seal. Whitesboro—a village of about 3,700—had debated for years about whether or not to change its brand mark, which depicted the town’s founder, Hugh White, strangling an Oneida chief. A vote last year on the fate of the seal was even featured on The Daily Show, which mocked the emblem’s racial overtones. 157 of the 212 votes were in favor of keeping the emblem as it was. But it turns out that most of the people who voted to keep it requested that the artwork be altered.
And so, a new Whitesboro seal was born, showing the combatants with their hands on each other’s arms, forever locked in a neutral fighting position. The sad irony is that the original seal is a more historically accurate symbol—as there was nothing neutral of our settlers’ treatment of Native Americans.
For more read the story by journalist Maya Salam.
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