An elementary school in Marietta, Georgia has sparked outrage over its new logo, which resembles a Nazi symbol. East Side Elementary’s recently unveiled logo features a prominent eagle with the school’s initials in its body, a similar image to the Nazi eagle that has a similar blocky style, and a swastika at its feet. The school, located across from a synagogue, notified parents of the change this week, saying the district was working with all schools in the area to redesign their logos.
“The new logo and badges were chosen to represent the Eagle soaring to excellence and to honor the history of our great school,” reads a screenshot of the post. “We hope you love our new models as much as we do! The Nazi Eagle, or Nazi War Eagle, is included in the Anti-Defamation League’s Hate Symbol Database. It was developed by the Nazis in Germany in the 1920s and after World War II became a familiar symbol among neo-Nazis and white supremacists.
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I admit I didn’t have “Georgia Public Elementary School Replaces School Logo With Nazi Images” on my racism bingo card.
Whichever contractor was paid for this dastardly design should consider returning the money to the taxpayers as soon as possible. pic.twitter.com/whoLHDVwCQ
— Rep. Beth Moore (@MooreForGeorgia) July 19, 2022
The American Jewish Committee, a Jewish advocacy organization, tweeted that the neighborhood, “regardless of intent,” should have realized that the logo “looks strikingly and uncomfortably like the Nazi eagle.” The organization said, “This only clarifies the urgent need for comprehensive Holocaust education at all levels.”
Whatever the intention, @CobbSchools should have realized that East Side Elementary’s new logo looks strikingly and uncomfortably like the Nazi eagle.
This only clarifies the urgent need for comprehensive Holocaust education at all levels. pic.twitter.com/7usvoX0FMj
— American Jewish Committee (@AJCGlobal) July 19, 2022
Parents and community members immediately called for a change once the new logo was introduced earlier this week, with local rabbi and mother Amanda Flaks saying they were shocked the design was approved in the first place. According WSB2 reports, she said, “I thought, ‘That sounds weird. This makes me uneasy. I came back to it several times and felt more and more uncomfortable and sick each time.
The school district claimed it was not immediately aware of the similarities and based the design on U.S. military symbols. The parents, however, said the way the school’s initials were positioned on the eagle silhouette resembled the Nazi eagle crest design far too much than any army design. American.
ADL South East regional director Eytan Davidson tweeted that “another incident raising the specter of anti-Semitism is extremely concerning.” Mike Albuquerque has two children who are due to attend school next year. He told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he does not want his children to wear the new logo. “Really, it’s a big oversight by the county and everyone involved in the process who looked at this, not to speak out against the fact that it looks like Nazi iconography,” he said. “Or maybe, who knows, someone called him and he wasn’t heard from.”
Let’s be clear, another incident raising the specter of anti-Semitism is extremely concerning. We look forward to seeing action to improve Cobb County schools for all children and families. https://t.co/ogQ9Mg7yrW
—Eytan Davidson (@EthanBDavidson) July 21, 2022
A Twitter user named Stacy wrote that her family is Jewish and “always felt loved and welcome” at the school, and that she thinks the logo was an “honest oversight”. But, she said, the school could move faster. “We don’t need to ‘pause to consider’ or ‘review’ logos,” they said. “They are symbolic of Nazi imagery and should be removed immediately, period. The District should apologize to all families on the East Side for the hurt this has caused.”
Today my child’s school announced a new logo. Our Jewish family has always felt loved and welcome there. Today they announced a new logo that resembles another well-known image. I think (and hope) that was an honest oversight. #gapol @ADL @CobbSchools pic.twitter.com/feDNbzisUU
— Stacy E (@gtstac) July 18, 2022
Earlier this year, high school students in Cobb County spoke about bullying and racism in schools and how some students feel unsafe. They demanded a change in the code of conduct policy and that students who harass, bully or make demeaning comments should face longer suspensions than currently applied.