New County Logo Falls Short

Carrie Finn, Sentry Staff Reporter

Since 2004, Arlington County’s logo has been the front of the Arlington House, once Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s home. Our county recently selected a new image to replace the problematic logo, a change that was much needed and long overdue. However, the logo replacing it is confusing and a poor illustration of our county. It maps out Arlington, the District of Columbia and the city of Alexandria and is supposed to depict the ties the three jurisdictions have with one another. While our county’s new logo is a substantial improvement from the prior one, it is not the image the county should use.

The map, which is supposed to depict the three jurisdictions, barely looks like a map. At first glance, one would think it is three squares or a diamond split into three sections. The attempt at modernism is not some brilliant idea; it is brainless. The county needs a logo that showcases Arlington and is actually a comprehensible image. Instead, the county is portrayed as different colored blocks.

The logo was selected by a panel that looked at over 300 designs and narrowed it down to five finalists for the public to vote upon. After the residents of Arlington gave their opinions it was clear that they did not like any of those logos. The panel had to reconvene in order to select other popular finalists. 

After new submissions were chosen and voted upon, there was a logo that had a clear popular vote from the public. This image, a depiction of Key Bridge, is not the new logo. The panel ignored the opinion of the residents of Arlington and chose a poor image of Arlington County. The design that actually won the vote was clean and looked superior to the diamond the panel chose. That was the design that should have been chosen.

Moreover, by replacing Robert E. Lee’s home with a map of the three jurisdictions, our county’s unpleasant past is further illuminated. What is now present-day Arlington was once part of D.C., until it retroceded back into Virginia and effectively kept slavery legal in the area. While this new figure was implemented to replace an image with a horrific past, it only shines it in a new light. The image spotlights our ties to D.C. and Alexandria; however, our past with them is hardly honorable. 

Creating a new logo should not be a difficult task. After Arlington’s previous logo, it should be easy to find a better image, as the last one was downright offensive. However, the logo is not the best image for the county. It ignores the opinion of the residents of the county and spotlights our county’s disturbing past. Our county needs a logo that is not a confusing mess or offensive to the citizens of Arlington.