by Judy Reed
The City of Cedar Springs voted Thursday evening, November 14, to approve a new logo and tagline for the city.
“Cedar Springs—Est. 1871 Cherishing our heritage, embracing our future” will now be the city’s official slogan that will appear on city-related items.
It replaces the tagline “A great place to live, work, and play” and the Red Flannel logo, which the city stopped using in August of last year after receiving a letter from the Red Flannel Festival of intent to file suit for copyright infringement. Subsequent meetings between the city manager and festival have yielded no results on an agreement.
A committee made up of members of the community took submissions from the public for a new logo, but only nine entries were submitted.
While there was no official public comment time on the new logo, several people commented on it during the public forum part of the meeting. Rose Powell said that “Red Flannel is the cement that holds us together” and asked if they couldn’t use what they already had,” and not spend more money to get new logos put on police patches and other items.
Steve McBride, a Red Flannel Festival board member, warned that, if the new logo went through, “SEV’s would go down and taxes would go up. It would be a corporate nail in the head.” He said he would go out and sell his plasma to help them raise money to license the Red Flannel logo.
Mark Laws, Red Flannel board member and former City Council candidate, also urged the city to provide police protection for one day in exchange for using the Red Flannel logo.
Calling it one of the hardest things she’s had to decide, Councilmember Patricia Troost was emotional while speaking on how she felt about the matter. She compiled pages of articles, meeting minutes, emails, etc. while researching the history on the Red Flannel logo. “A lot of time and money was spent on this (issue), and friendships ended over it,” she remarked. “I finally decided that I had to put this to rest, that we needed to move on. We will always be the Red Flannel town. Why didn’t we get the submissions? I don’t know. But we can’t give our services away to everyone. Other groups, like the Chamber of Commerce, are bringing events into town also. It’s not just about Red Flannel and the City. It’s time for the city to heal and move forward.”
New Councilmember Dan Clark said that he didn’t think the community was going to be happy if they approved the new logo. “They want Red Flannel back. If we do this we’ll be a pariah because we gave up,” he said.
Councilmember Ken Benham said it would be great if something did work out to put the Red Flannel logo in the circle where it says “Est. 1871” but in the mean time, he’d like to put something there. “We’ve went too long without something on our trucks,” he noted. He also reminded everyone that the public voted down a special community events tax put to the voters last year, which could have been used to fund those services for the Red Flannel Festival and other community events. “We’ve had cutbacks in staff, we no longer do a community cleanup, etc. We need to be fiscally responsible,” he said.
The Council voted 4 to 3 to approve the new logo, with Bob Truesdale and new members Jerry Hall and Dan Clark voting no.
No time line has been given yet for implementation of the logo.