City of Victoria officials will be exploring the possibility of a new city logo, one that may not include religious imagery, even though the city is named after a community church.
Councilor Chad Roberts, at the end of a March 22 Victoria City Council meeting, mentioned the logo.
"I've heard from a few residents in regards to the city logo," Roberts said. Since the city is planning to update its website, "an upgrade to the logo to go along with the website might be a good idea for staff to look into.”
No one appeared to voice an objection when asked by Mayor Deb McMillan. At least two councilors could be heard on video saying they'd be open to the idea.
The current logo includes an outline of a church with a cross perched on top of a steeple, along with a waterway, trees and birds.
Even though Roberts did not mention the religious imagery on the logo among his comments, he did mention it as a factor for change in a follow-up telephone interview.
Kendra Grahl, the city’s communications and public engagement manager, said discussions with city staff indicated Roberts and other city officials had been approached by citizens concerned with the current logo "and some of its imagery, with the church, maybe not appearing inclusive."
Grahl said the city has received two private Facebook comments from people “saying they’d like to see the logo be more inclusive."
“We’ve been getting a lot of community feedback lately (about the imagery),” she said Monday.
Grahl said city officials will possibly start collecting community feedback this summer on a new logo idea, but there is no timeline.
“It kind of came up with the fact that we are looking at a website refresh in the next two years,” Grahl said, adding that the city is currently examining where the logo is used and what costs might be to replace them.
“It’s cancel-culture fever,” said Milt Anders, of Victoria, while sitting near the Charlson Thun Community Bandstand, when asked what his thoughts were about a logo change because of a church-like design on the current logo. “Some people just want to erase history. It’s a sad thing.”
Anders wasn’t sure if he’d comment to city officials about his thoughts, and guessed that many of his neighbors might not.
“It seems people are offended by almost everything; everything has to be politically correct and fair only in their view,” he said. “Well, you can’t change history by ignoring it or squashing it. Sure, life changes, but history doesn’t. This place was named after a church.”
“I think any time the city examines what it is doing and why, including how it is represented, it’s a good thing,” said Dave Robinson, of Victoria, also near the bandstand. “I’d like to see what the city has in mind and maybe have the community vote on it.”
LAKES AND PARKS
The city refers to itself as the “City of Lakes & Parks.”
“People thought it might be time to have a logo that represents that we are the city of parks and lakes, and maybe that it (logo) could be more inclusionary of everyone in the community than our current one,” Roberts said in a phone interview, referring to several emails he’s received and personal discussions he’s had with citizens on the topic.
“The church design is very prominent and there is a myriad of various beliefs in the community,” Roberts added. “If we are the city of lakes and parks, we should have a design that represents that; that sells that to outside people.”
Roberts said he has “no problem” if a church emblem is still part of a new logo, but in a more subdued style. He said the time is right for a logo change because the city is updating its website.
According to historical accounts, including the Carver County Historical Society, the city took on the name of St. Victoria Catholic Church, a parish which was officially organized in 1856. St. Victoria Catholic Church is, of course, on Victoria Drive in Victoria.
A post office was established in the community in 1863 in a home and all mail was addressed to “Laketown” until 1883, when the post office name was changed to Victoria. The community was incorporated as a village in 1915.