Upstate New York Town To Vote On Controversial Seal Today
When you look at the New Bedford City Seal, you'll see an old whaling ship in a harbor with a lighthouse amidst a backdrop of historic Old New Bedford. It includes the Latin phrase, "Lucen Diffundo" which translates to "We diffuse the light" connecting with New Bedford whale oil. And when you consider the Town of Dartmouth's official seal, nobody around knows how the town came to have a modified version of an English lord's 'family crest' as its official insignia. But these two local examples don't compare to a story from New York state.
Whitesboro's town seal is on the ropes.
If I had to referee this wrestling match, I would stop the fight. I find it hard to believe that an official insignia of a municipality would promote a feud. But that is the case for the village seal of the small upstate New York town of Whitesboro, which was designed to depict what historians say was a "friendly wrestling match" between the town's founder and a local Indian man.
Let's go ringside as some residents in the town believe the seal is racist.
About 4,000 Whitesboro residents will decide in a vote Monday, January 11, on whether to keep or change their village seal. We'll keep you posted on this match.
According to Mashable.com, many people in the town believe that the seal is racist because it portrays a white man strangling a Native American.
Mayor Patrick O’ Connor is one of the many who are in favor of changing the town’s seal.
The seal dates back to 1883 and it shows "a friendly wrestling match that helped foster good relations" between the town's founder, Hugh White, and a member of the Oneida tribe. This proved to be an important event in the town’s settling.
The seal is currently displayed on trucks, highway equipment and official documents in the town.
For decades, the seal has been debated, locally and in the national media.
With additional reporting by Sal Lopez