Panel Rejects Logo as Too Close to Pride Flag

Montana commission chair is among those who don't see much resemblance
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 13, 2022 7:10 PM CDT
Library Panel Finds New Logo Too Similar to Pride Flag
The Rainbow Flag, an international symbol of LGBTQ liberation and pride, flies beneath the American flag at the Stonewall National Monument in New York in 2017.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

The commission that oversees the Montana State Library has rejected a proposed new logo after a member said the main feature—a prism—brought to mind the rainbow LGBTQ pride flag, something she suggested would set off a political firestorm. Two commissioners and the state librarian are meeting again this month to suggest ideas for what to do next that they can bring to an Aug. 3 commission meeting, the AP reports. The commission voted 4-3 earlier this month to reject the logo after paying a company $130,000 from non-taxpayer library foundation funds to create it as part of a large library system reboot. The full contract is $292,500 and includes a rollout of the new design.

Commissioner Tammy Hall argued at a June meeting that approving the logo would set up an unnecessary political battle as the library seeks state funding from a Republican-controlled legislature next year. She suggested the logo be toned down to shades of blue, black, and gray. The rejected logo is predominately blue and features four triangles—reddish orange, yellow, green, and light blue—that symbolize information being trumpeted outward. "I think there are two things you can say today to set off a firestorm in the area of information," Hall said. "One is rainbow, and one is misinformation. Those are very political, explosive weapons."

Addie Palin, of the advertising agency Hoffman York, said that the "calibration of colors" was taken into consideration in creating the logo and that the colors are more muted "to avoid that suggestion of it being some sort of pride mark." Kevin Hamm, president of Montana Pride, said the opposition to the logo is not really a topic of discussion in the LGBTQ community, but he took offense to the premise of the concerns. "If you’re going to have a problem with a logo and the first thing that you think is 'Oh, it's got bright colors and that's a little too queer for me,' you're a bigot and you have issues," Hamm said. "I think it's a stretch to think that this represents a pride flag," said commission Chair Kenning Arlitsch, noting that the progress pride flag has 11 colors and the library logo has four.

(More Montana stories.)

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