New York Village Votes To Keep Logo That Appears To Show White Guy Choking Native American

Whitesboro

Residents of the Village of Whitesboro, New York have voted to keep a town logo that has proven to be controversial:

ALBANY — There will be no change to the controversial town seal in the village of Whitesboro outside Syracuse.

After years of debate over the seal, the town put it to a non-binding vote: Residents voted Monday night, 157 to 55, to keep it.

“It’s been a controversy for decades, so we decided to get the input of our local village residents,” Mayor Patrick O’Connor told Syracuse.com. “We wanted to get a feeling from them on what image they want to represent their history.”

Village officials in Oneida County have defended the seal, saying it shows a friendly wrestling match between Hugh White, the town’s founder, and a member of the local Oneida tribe.

“The wrestling match was an important event in the history of the settling of the Village of Whitesboro and helped foster good relations between White and the Indians,” the village says on its website. “The new version is displayed on Village trucks, highway equipment, letterheads and documents.”

The Oneidas, based in central New York, have been outspoken against how Native Americans are depicted and have led a national campaign to have the Washington Redskins change the name of its NFL team. The Oneidas, who own the Turning Stone Casino, helped start a petition in July to change the seal.

Village clerk and historian Dana Nimey-Olney told the Associated Press residents were presented several drawings to choose from, including settlers and Indians standing together.

The seal has been modified slightly over the years, with the latest version showing with White’s hands on the Indian’s shoulders instead of his neck, Nimey-Olney told the AP.

Well, I suppose that’s something. Nonetheless, as I said when I wrote about this last June, this strikes me as something you might not want your little town to be associated with. But what do I know?

FILED UNDER: General, Quick Takes
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. John Peabody says:

    If they changed the logo, the town would never, ever appear again in an AP item, let alone CNN. Cost / Benefit analysis? “Keep the logo, every few years, we’ll get some press!”

  2. gVOR08 says:

    I suspect changing the logo ran up against that bedrock principle of voters – you’re not the boss of me.

  3. Matt says:

    I for one think that it’s most appropriate considering how our ancestors behaved when settling this country.

  4. John Peabody says:

    Or maybe they are angry at being ridiculed by hordes of people who are not happy if they are offended by something. Let us turn our backs on toleration and tell these people they are idiots!

  5. pylon says:

    “Whitesboro” eh? You can’t make this stuff up.

  6. Tyrell says:

    It looks like two men fighting from colonial era. No symbolism, hidden meaning, or some sort of racism.

  7. bill says:

    and so goes this weeks “false rage” issue for the delicate liberal crowd….

    @pylon: “hugh white”…..city’s founder.lord…..

  8. gVOR08 says:

    @bill: James post and the comments above display mostly mild amusement, some of it at the expense of the voters of Whitesboro. I suppose you could call that “false rage” – since you certainly can’t call it “rage”.

  9. MarkedMan says:

    You know, years ago I met a wonderful elderly woman whose name was “Gay Love”. I’m sure at the time (1920’s) she was born her parents thought it a wonderful name. But sometimes the culture just passes you by. Everyone in Whitesboro might ‘know’ what this is all about but anyone encountering it for the first time is going to react with a ‘what the f*ck?!’

  10. bill says:

    @gVOR08: you’re in a rage about that?!