Jackson residents are getting their first looks at design concepts for a new City Seal. The City of Jackson is releasing two designs ahead of the Tuesday, Sept. 14 City Council meeting, where they will be presented to City Councilmembers and the community. An updated design is sought to present a seal that is more specific to the Jackson community and remove depictions of Andrew Jackson.
Option 1 shows a large oak tree and a railroad track. The tree represents Under the Oaks, a location in Jackson where it’s believed the Republican Party was founded in 1854, along with the large number of oak trees in the City. The railroad track references Jackson’s history as a railroad hub, along with representing the community’s history as a stop on the Underground Railroad for escaped African American slaves. Option 2 shows the Downtown Jackson skyline, flowing water from the Grand River, and oak leaves, which also references Jackson’s oak tree connections.
The current City Seal, which was adopted in 1937, references a statue in Washington, D.C. of U.S. President Andrew Jackson, the City’s namesake. In July 2020, the City Council voted unanimously to start the City Seal redesign process. This decision came after residents raised concerns about racist associations the seal may have by depicting Andrew Jackson, a slave holder who’s actions lead to the forced relocation of Native Americans in the “Trail of Tears”.
The Jackson Public Arts Commission (JPAC) was tasked by the City Council to come up with designs for a new City Seal that were more specific to the City of Jackson, Michigan and removed depictions of Andrew Jackson. After receiving input from residents as to what the new seal should look like, JPAC worked with Weblinx, a graphic design company from Chicago, to create the designs. JPAC will present the two options at the Sept. 14 meeting to receive input from councilmembers and the community. The council could consider adopting one of the designs at a future meeting this fall.
Angela Edward, Chair of JPAC, says she’s looking forward to presenting the design concepts. “JPAC thanks the community for their involvement in the seal redesign process. We hope that these designs best represent the City of Jackson, Michigan and those who live here based on the input from our community members,” Edward said.
The City Council meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. in the 2nd Floor City Council Chambers of Jackson City Hall. The meeting will be broadcast on the City Facebook page and Comcast Cable Channel 21.
Current City Seal