The City of Jackson has a new official City Seal to use. City administration is making plans to remove representations of the former seal, following a 6 to 1 vote to replace it from the Jackson City Council at their Tuesday, Nov. 9 meeting. The adoption of a new seal ends a year-long redesign process to replace depictions of Andrew Jackson and come up with a design more specific to the Jackson community.
The new seal is circular, with text that says “City of Jackson, Michigan Founded in 1829”. It shows a silhouette of the Downtown Jackson skyline with the Grand River flowing below. Two versions were produced; one in color which uses blue and green, and another in black and white.
The Jackson Public Arts Commission (JPAC) was tasked by the City Council to come up with a design for a new City Seal that was more specific to the City of Jackson, Michigan and removed visual representations of Andrew Jackson. After receiving input from residents, JPAC worked with Weblinx, a graphic design company from Chicago, to create concepts. The new seal was selected by JPAC and sent to the City Council for official consideration.
The former 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”.
Mayor Derek Dobies proposed changing the seal last year and is pleased to see the change take effect. “Our city deserves a seal that directly references our own community,” Dobies said. “I thank the Public Arts Commission for leading this effort and creating updated imagery that better represents how we feel about the City of Jackson in the 21st Century.”
The City Seal is different than the City’s logo, and is used for official documents and display at City facilities. Now that the new design has been adopted, City administration will replace images of the old seal at City Hall, the Jackson Police Department, and in parks. Police officer uniform arm patches will also have to be replaced, as they show the old seal.
City Manager Jonathan Greene says the new seal will be phased in over the next year as City staff work with the graphic design company to apply it to facilities, signage and uniforms. Funding for the seal swapping will come from the City’s general fund.