April 05, 2014

FSU updates Seminole logo

Florida State altering Seminole logo

By Jared ShankerFlorida State and its Seminole logo will undergo minor alterations.

The design alterations are rooted in the university’s desire to create consistency in its school colors and brand, but Florida State will continue to use the Seminole head as its logo. The head will undergo some alterations, as well.

“The changes are very minor and the primary thing people will see is consistency in the garnet,” Florida State vice president for university relations Liz Maryanski said. “If you go into a sports store and look across the store, you’ll see as many shades of garnet as there are T-shirts, and we’re trying to get consistency in our colors.

“… We’ll still have what we call ‘the head’ with the Seminole [Tribe’s] blessing.”
Florida State fans furious with leaked Seminole logo update

By Nick SchwartzAlthough the changes to Osceola’s face are slight, many fans seem to hate the new design.

Heather Hostetter @heaaaatherrrr
I don't know why they would ever change the FSU logo. It's everywhere and everyone knows it. The new one just looks stupid.

Max Orr @Max_Orr
I'm really upset with the logo. Don't change perfection #FSU

James W. Thompson @LifeAsJamesT
I'm so out on the new FSU logo. I will never wear that logo.


Not a good look: On FSU's recent changes to the Seminole head logo and Florida State's relationship to its fans

Not a good look: On FSU's recent changes to the Seminole head logo and Florida State's relationship to its fans

By Brendan BuresLet's ignore this comment from FSU’s Athletics Department: “The issue was that our Seminole Head, while as recognizable and iconic as any in all of sports, does not reproduce well in a number of mediums (sic). It is particularly difficult to embroider and impossible to accurately represent on some materials including at midfield at Doak Campbell Stadium” and how it belies this new logo will solve all these problems.

Let's, then, begin with how Florida State’s new logo resembles an Italian father suffering a mid-life crisis to become a KISS band member while simultaneously enduring chronic diarrhea rather than a Seminole Indian. And let us also start with its unveiling: how in the dark all of us were, and how a simple picture from a Walmart employee derailed a reveal to change history. Because this is what we’re contending.

The new Seminole head is plain bad. It looks whitewashed of tradition and history, qualities Florida State rhetorically marries itself to any chance given. It’s poorly designed by Nike, who continues to prominently include a feather in FSU apparel, like when they redesigned FSU’s basketball uniforms with a feather streaking along the sides. (A uniform trait, it should be noted, that looks particularly silly whenever a player’s shirt becomes untucked from his pants.)

Furthermore, it resembles a white guy impersonating his idea of a Native American rather than an actual Native American. Doesn’t exactly help our reputation of cultural appropriation. While the Seminole tribe reportedly approved these changes, it was Nike who was influential in the design. It is no wonder why this new Seminole head looks so white. Florida State and Nike might believe this fa├žade, but fans are holding no such illusions.
Daily Rant: Not much is native about new FSU logo

By John A. TorresSeminole fans are up in spears about the new logo.

But, seriously, I don’t see what the big deal is. Sure, the new logo looks less Native American and more Halloweenish but we need a logo we can identify with. How many of us have really interacted with a Seminole? (Is it OK to call them Indians?)

We want somebody that looks more like us. Most of us these days have teeth, so they’ve given the logo a nice set of choppers. Who cares if they look like grandpa’s dentures?

They’ve also done away with the wild, savage-like hair and given the logo a neat John Travolta-type of hairdo. Think “Saturday Night Fever.” They’ve added nice little streaks of white in the coif, making the warrior a little more approachable. Maybe this guy really would like to sit down with you and smoke a peace pipe.
Comment:  A few Native commenters noted that the new logo does indeed look like a white man. Perversely, one could say that's appropriate. The logo and mascot have always been about a white man portraying a false and stereotypical version of an Indian: "Chief" Osceola. Why not make this misrepresentation explicit?

But on a purely aesthetic level, I'd say the new logo is infinitely better. I always thought what FSU officials are implying: that the old logo was ugly. It looked like a muddled child's drawing, and I'm not surprised it didn't reproduce well. The new logo "wins" because it's clear and sharp and uncluttered with lettering.

But it's still a screaming savage, so it still fails as a Native representation. Sorry, but any logo with a leering, snarling, or screaming Indian is racist and wrong.

For more on the subject, see FSU's Seminole Mascot Is "Stunting" and ESPN's Seminole Minstrel Show. For my seminal Seminole takedown, see Why FSU's Seminoles Aren't Okay.

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