LAST

 

Norfolk's City Seal

Needs a serious makeover, even a facelift.

Norfolk's current city seal — which was actually designed by a committee way back when — is way past its shelf life. It screams nineteenth century, or whimpers it, even though it was designed in 1913. Who cares about the arcane dates on it: when Norfolk became a town, a borough, a city? And that old square-rigged ship and old-timey plow and even the sheaths of wheat? Is there even any farm land left in Norfolk today? Isn't this the twenty-first century. Even the city seal should keep up.

And who actually speaks Latin anymore except for priests and smartypants high school nerds? According to the official City translations, "et terra et mare divitae tuae" and "crescas" respectively mean "by land and sea thy riches are" and "thou shalt grow" — like what, thy town hath adequacy issues and needeth lofty sounding reassurance?

Norfolk already has a de facto new logo, but even though the famous mermaid is more inviting and hip than the stilted old seal, even with her saucy mermaid's persona, does she really say anything about Norfolk, other than that it's located next to the sea and welcoming to sailors — you know, like any other port city?

 

Personification Precedents

Stalwart, no-nonsence female personifications are a mainstay of national identities. See Britannia of Great Britain, Marianne of France, Columbia of the U.S.A.:

Thought nowadays, the even sterner Lady Liberty has upstaged Ms. Columbia:

 

Male personifications are just as famous, but they also tend to be less virtuous and more vulnerable to lampooning, as here with the comically indignant Uncle Sam and jovially venal John Bull:

 

Norfolk's New Seal

So here's the plan: We convene another committee — of course! — one composed of business, military, and (just to keep things intellectually rigorous) school board officials. We task them with cobbling together something that will really get to the essence of Norfolk.

By all means, we want to incorporate the ubiquitous mermaid. She's already become the stand-in for Norfolk's seal, but let's face it, the girl needs a serious makeover. With her androgynous physique, boring hairdo, and featureless face, who would want to date her, much less do serious business with her?

Now Norfolk already has a face, a face that's been leading it for the last twenty years. So let's graft the famous face of Mr. Norfolk onto the mermaid's hot new bod (after suitable enhancements, of course), plus throw in some things that really say Norfolk — oh, and also a spiffy new slogan in lofty yet accessible English rather highfalutin, incomprehensible Latin — and violà! Norfolk's got herself a new mer-mayor and a brand new city seal.

Oops, in the meantime we haven't forgotten. Yes, there's a new mayor in town. But he's gotta prove himself first before he earning his mug on maybe an even more awesome seal:

 

As for Norfolk's public schools, here's an idea, one that might even solve all the problems: Require all Norfolk officials to enroll their children in the public schools.

Most Norfolk schools likely to miss full accreditation

 

"Shameful! Our schools, again, are in crisis,"

Roger Chesley Reports

 

Another New Hotel

How it's done

 

The "Mission"

from Norfolk City Government's website:

The City of Norfolk shall provide leadership and direction responsive to the needs and desires of all citizens of Norfolk. This shall be done in an efficient, equitable, cost-effective manner that uses available resources for the maximum benefit.

Leadership shall be directed to strengthening Norfolk as the economic and cultural hub of Hampton Roads, to preserving and enhancing the environmental setting and assets of the city, and to improving the quality of life and opportunities for the diverse populations living in, working in, and visiting Norfolk.

 

Norfolk's New City Logo

Flexible new mermaid makes big splash

 

Think big, Norfolk. Think "mudflap mermaid"!

 

 

MowbrayArch.com

 

 

 

 

Last Up Next