I heard the buzz about the seal and didn’t think much of it. Until, I was put to the task of creating new seal. As a designer I know that the client matters. In this case, the client was an entire village. And many people have been outraged by the seal, it’s found by many to be offensive and I can agree. But, I found the logo to misrepresent the past. Yes, the current seal depicts a historical event of Hugh White entering a “wrestling match” with a Native America who previously lived on the land which Hugh Whites people claimed.
My argument here is simple, sure the legend of the wrestling match could have very well been true. We can not forget the pillaging that went on between Whites and Native American people. This is why I chose not to “improve” the current logo by depicting Hugh White and a Native American wrestling in a “more friendly” depiction. It still indicates disrespect toward an entire nation of people. A nation of people who still receive disrespect and racism. Which reminds me of a insightful quote about racism by Morgan Freeman; “Stop talking about it. I’m going to stop calling you a white man, and I’m going to ask you to stop calling me a black man. I know you as Mike Wallace. You know me as Morgan Freeman”. I think in helping to lessen and end their battle we need to eliminate visuals such as a slightly modified version of the Whitsboro seal. Indeed the client does matter but, in this case I am advocating for the people.
As designer I have taken my own silent oath to create design that betters the world and conveys concept. A concept for positive change no matter how small or large. While designing my seal in response I created a symbol of unity and peace.
“Whatever is not commonly seen is condemned as alien” – Iris Chang
“Time lingers but it never, never waits”
“Sometimes the truth can only be found within the island of your body”
(partial photo credit to Kat Serdsev)
“Acquire the Spirit of peace and thousands around you will be saved” St. Seraphim of Sarov