Beyond The Bombers
Among the most controversial logos are those depicting Indians. They are also among the most common; teams from small junior high schools to the professional leagues use some sort of Indian logo. When critics charge that they are disrespectful to American Indians, some schools willingly switch. Others aren't given a choice. Four years ago in Wisconsin, the state department of public instruction ordered Aldrich Junior High School in Beloit to change its Indian logo. The department allowed the school to keep its nickname, the Warriors, but said the caricature of an Indian, which some considered derogatory, had to go.
Few logo disputes can rival the passion and publicity aroused by the Richland Bombers' mushroom cloud, but a furor in Fairfax, Va., came close. In 1986, after complaints from local black parents, the principal of Fairfax High School decided to drop its "Johnny Reb'' logo. In addition to Johnny--a symbol of the Confederacy during the Civil War--the school displayed a blue-andgray version of the Confederate flag and called its drill team the "Confederettes.'' The principal replaced Johnny with a new Rebel logo that depicts a pair of crossed swords superimposed on an American flag with a circle of 13 stars.
Many Fairfax residents were outraged by the principal's action. More than 2,000 people signed a petition demanding the return of Johnny, and a group of students and parents filed a $1.1 million lawsuit against the school, charging that their First Amendment rights had been violated. But the courts upheld the principal's action.