Redhawks logo selected for Port Townsend High School
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The head-only form of Port Townsend High School’s new Redhawks logo

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — A red hawk flies high in a logo released this week to depict Port Townsend High School's new mascot.

The Redhawks logo was distributed in two versions, one with only a head and another in flight.

The Redhawks replaces the Redskins logo and mascot that represented the school for 88 years.

“We get to move forward, and we now have something to rally behind,” said Scott Wilson, the district's athletic director.

“This is in the best interest of the kids, and this is an image they have chosen.”

The two images will be used interchangeably on school property and uniforms, according to Wilson.

The new logo was designed by Eric Wahlquist, a Seattle graphic designer whose wife, Lydia Snapp, is a 2005 Port Townsend High graduate.

Wilson said several people had suggested mascot images both before and after the selection of Redhawks, but the school settled on Wahlquist's design “because it was an original image and reflected the fierceness we were looking for.”

Even so, it took several iterations of the images before it was exactly right, he said.

The change was prompted by a district parent writing a letter to the School Board in June 2012 saying the Redskins symbol was offensive and inappropriate.

After a yearlong study by a committee, the board unanimously voted in June 2013 to retire the name of Redskins “with honor and dignity” and conduct a “student- and community-based process to replace it.”

After a series of student meetings, the Redhawks mascot eventually prevailed over six other choices.

Now that the image is finalized, it will be added to both the bleachers and on the floor of the high school gym before the beginning of the 2014-15 school year.

The bleachers are in need of repair, Wilson said, and the replacement of the large Native American head design that now graces them was already on schedule.

A new scoreboard also will be installed that features both the new logo and the logo for the PT Booster Club, which paid one-third of the cost of the scoreboard, Wilson said.

The process of purchasing any necessary uniforms also has begun.

In some cases, making the change to the new mascot is as simple as slapping a sticker on a helmet.

Among changes that must be made is the removal of a stone plaque reading “Port Townsend High School Home of the Redskins” that was given to the school by the class of 2006.

There is no schedule for the removal of the plaque, Wilson said, adding that it will not be destroyed.

“It will be presented in some fashion, although we are not sure where,” he said.

“It is part of the school's history, its past, and we want to acknowledge that.”

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Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or cbermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: June 17. 2014 7:21PM
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