There is an old saying, which definitely wasn’t just made up here, that reputations often outlive their applications.
Hence, the current debate that has cropped up since the government of Saskatchewan abandoned the province’s old logo — the image of a sheaf of golden wheat.
CBC News reports that the government quietly replaced the logo this week on news releases and web pages. With Saskatchewan growing faster than any other province, it’s time for it to be known for more than farming.
Saskatchewan hasn’t been seen as the land of wheat since the early 2000s, when the province’s economy was based entirely on how much people liked to eat bread.
Now, its reputation is more along the lines of “Alberta Jr.” thanks to its burgeoning oil industry and its potash deposits — which exist for the sole purpose of giving Manitoba an inferiority complex.
The new logo is a yellow swoosh on a green background. It is the new vision of Saskatchewan. As far as I know, that is what potash looks like.
But rebranding initiatives rarely go off without a hitch, especially when politics are involved. Saskatchewan’s wheat sheaf logo has stood since the 1970s, and an attempt by the governing Saskatchewan Party to change it was rebuffed by the public in 2007.
Saskatchewan New Democrats claim the Saskatchewan Party quietly made the change in order to slip its colour scheme into the provincial logo. In a statement, deputy leader Buckley Belanger said:
It's not appropriate, and the fact that the Sask. Party tried to quietly sneak this change through makes it obvious that the Sask. Party knows it's doing something wrong… The quiet, sneaky replacement of our heritage symbols isn’t what Saskatchewan people asked for.
The debate is reminiscent to one that played out when the Conservatives won power from the previous Liberal government — and blue became more prominent than red on official websites.
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The new Saskatchewan logo could be political trickery, it could be much ado about nothing, or it could be about time. Saskatchewan isn’t just wheat any more.
Although, frankly, the new logo still kind of looks like it.