New logo for Cobb elementary school sparks immediate backlash

The announcement of the new logo, which drew rapid comparisons to Nazi iconographyThe announcement of the new logo, which drew rapid comparisons to Nazi iconography

By Rebecca Gaunt

East Side Elementary School’s new logo, revealed to parents in an email Monday, has members of the community furious.

It contains an eagle and the initials for the school and is drawing comparisons to the Nazi Eagle, a symbol that has also been adopted by white supremacy groups.

Though the American Defamation League notes that the eagle is a common symbol, frequently used with no relation to the Nazi Eagle, the details of the one in the logo drew immediate, negative reactions from many and quickly spread on social media.

Kristin Rodriguez has a nephew that attends a Cobb high school. She wrote, “The fact they put this out there just days after approving that random personnel can apply to carry weapons in schools is not cool. If they can intentionally “miss” the imagery in this logo, how can they be trusted to truly vet the skills of the person asking to carry a weapon?”

The original email from Principal Maria Clark states that “CCSD has been working with all schools over the past few years to redesign and formalize school logos. East Side was very excited to undergo this process for the spring/summer and we are excited to introduce our new logos and badges to you. The new logos and badges were chosen to represent the Eagle soaring into excellence and to honor the great history of our school.”

After community members reached out, a follow up email from Clark said, “The school is aware of concerns about these logos, and therefore we have paused to consider that feedback. We will be immediately reviewing the logos to determine needed changes.”

The district also responded on a post about the logo in the Cobb County School District Unofficial Community Facebook group:

“We recently introduced a new set of logos for East Side. The school is aware of concerns about these logos, and therefore, we have paused to consider that feedback. We will be immediately reviewing the logos to determine needed changes. Stakeholder input has been, and continues to be, important to our school, and we appreciate those who took the time to share their thoughts.”

Parent Stacy Efrat tweeted, “Our Jewish family has always felt loved and welcome there…I think (& hope) this was an honest oversight.”

Parents want to know more. How did this logo not raise any red flags before being approved? Who approved it?

Rabbi Amanda Flaks lives in Marietta and is a hospital chaplain. She told the Courier, “Initially, the logo made me feel uncomfortable but I’m not quick to jump to anti-semitism as the root of things, as I work with interfaith communities primarily and try to see things through a wide lens at first glance… but the more I looked at it, I felt sick. I brought in my husband, the grandson of a survivor of the Nazi regime, to look at the logo, and immediately he went white as a sheet. He was speechless for a moment and then asked how the school could possibly use an image so reminiscent of the Nazi War Eagle as the school logo? I would like the school district to apologize and remove the logo. Their response last night demonstrates to me that an apology is unlikely.”

East Side Elementary School in Marietta is located across the street from the Etz Chaim Synagogue.

The district was criticized in 2021 for ending the ADL’s No Place For Hate program, especially after antisemitic graffiti was found in bathrooms at Pope and Lassiter High Schools.

Hershel Greenblat, a Holocaust survivor, addressed the school board and Superintendent Chris Ragsdale last October. He requested the reinstatement of the program and invited the board members and superintendent to tour the Holocaust exhibit at the Breman Museum in Atlanta with him. Board members Leroy “Tre” Hutchins and Charisse Davis joined Greenblat in December.

In February, a Cobb middle school student was photographed wearing a swastika at school.

The district has not responded to questions from the Courier.

24 Comments on "New logo for Cobb elementary school sparks immediate backlash"

  1. It would never occur to me to equate this to a Nazi symbol. Initially, I thought there was something wrong with me but then I realized how peaceful it is not to be offended by everything.

    • It “not occurring to you” is one thing. Not everyone can be a historian. But after seeing the comparison to the Nazi and white supremacy symbol, you don’t think that’s a poor choice for a school logo, yikes.

    • That kind of peaceful is actually blindness to what others have endured and the ways they continue to be harmed.

    • I’m sorry, but any decent human being SHOULD, in fact, be offended by the use of a nazi symbol. We’re talking about a group of genocidal villains who systematically murdered six million Jews, along with five million other poor souls who said villains deemed “undesirable.” Grandmothers, grandfathers, parents, children, babies, Rabbis, priests, nuns, musicians, and artists- all murdered. Take a moment to think about that, and then re-evaluate your comment. Better yet, take a trip to the Bremen Museum.

  2. Rebecca G | July 19, 2022 at 3:35 pm |

    Judith – I understand that the point of your comment was meant to be helpful. However, when you know and are aware that there is a symbol that is reflective of a hate group – parents want to do better and raise children who do not have to have a logo that shares hateful views. It’s not about being offended easily. To me, now that you are aware that this is a Nazi symbol – I can not understand how anyone can try to justify it for an elementary school (as your comment could read that way to some).

  3. Wouldn’t U. LikeTahNo | July 19, 2022 at 3:38 pm |

    Ha! Ooooh’weee!!! Y’all ain’t shyt. This is America and symbolism means EVERYTHING here. They knew what they were doing. Someone was trying to say something without saying a word. How coincidental is it to be across the street from the Synagogue in COBB COUNTY (In the first place) SMFH. Think it about it, go back to the drawing board, CHANGE THE LOGO NOW, and find another avenue to express your (hate). Y’all tried to be bold with that one. Yea, I said…. And I’m not one to respond, so have at it. This is plain as day. Good job on on this article

  4. Rebecca G | July 19, 2022 at 3:49 pm |

    You seriously will leave a comment up that justifies nazi symbolism, and wont publish contrary comments???? No wonder this shit is happening in Cobb County. Apparently in addition to the school, your publication also sides with Nazi sympathizers. Aren’t journalist supposed to be impartial. Why can’t you leave comments “on both sides”. Good thing I grabbed a screen shot of my previous comment that you refuse to publish. I’ll make sure I share that along with the school logo in all my mommy groups.

  5. L Crinnion | July 19, 2022 at 4:42 pm |

    This demonstrates the lack of education from people responsible for the education of children. This is the result of not teaching history to our youth. All one needed to do is Google this image. If I were in charge of this I would have had a serious conversation with your graphics designer. Bad form

  6. Folks, comments are moderated here. That means they come up when I get around to them (about four times per day).

    If you need instant gratification, there are plenty of unmoderated sites out there.

    If you want to complain about that in other forums, knock yourself out.

    As the old saying goes, “What you think about me is none of my business.”

  7. Google “wpa eagle”, go to “images”, and see very similar eagles used for the US Postal Service, and, in 1938, the Works Progress Administration. So it’s also a symbol of American history. Don’t let the Nazis ruin things for you; it just gives them legitimacy.

    • The WPA eagle (taken from the earler National Recovery Act logo) wouldn’t have raised an eyebrow. It had upturned wings and a head tilted upward. What made the Nazi eagle distinctive was the horizontal line of the top of the wings, the right angle profile of the head, and the circle beneath the talons.

  8. Yeeeaahh… That symbol is a bit too close to the Nazi symbol. Even in our over-sensitive society, this one I can understand the reaction to.

  9. Circles within circles, too many incidents in East Cobb’s portion of the Cobb County Schools to be considered coincidental. Nazi graffiti in High School rest rooms, middle school kids wearing Nazi arm bands showing off on the internet, and now this latest incident. All with our esteemed School Board (just following orders) and Superintendent (Commanding Officer) Ragsdale doing everything they can to avoid this undercurrent of poison in our schools by doing what they do best, which is nothing. Allow this undercurrent to continue while Ragsdale brings in his cadre of armed guards and we will eventually have hell to pay!!

  10. Marsha McFall | July 20, 2022 at 3:58 am |

    I just looked up the Nazi Eagle symbol. How could the school administrators not notice the similarities and realize the impact the logos would have on the community????

  11. Based upon Army Colonel?! You don’t get to use military imagery if you don’t even respect Veterans enough to give Veterans Day as a holiday. For crying out loud, you gave a day off because the Braves won a stupid trophy, but not for Veterans Day. Get your priorities straight!

  12. Kim Workman | July 20, 2022 at 9:57 am |

    “Pretending that antisemitism doesn’t exist won’t make it go away.”
    Seeing it every also doesn’t make it so.

    My first response was negative too. My father hated those symbols and passed that on to me, but I also know that just because that makes me see what might not be there I must be careful and consider intent.

    And actually if you look at it carefully, the eagle’s head doesn’t match the nazi eagle or the colonal’s insignia.

    And for those who have a problem with Jews, just remember that they are God’s chosen.

  13. Cheré Coen | July 20, 2022 at 12:19 pm |

    Wow, cannot believe no one saw this simularity and asked for a change. It hit me right away.

  14. EVEN if you really didn’t have a clue what the Nazi emblem looked like, anyone could look at the three school concepts and decide, again — in a vacuum, that the designs were too sterile, brutal, and militant. They just ARE.

    There’s nothing remotely fresh, fun, exciting, competitive, encouraging, scholastic, sporty, youthful or spirited — all words a good logo brainstorming session should conjure up — about them!

  15. Give me a break! People see and hear what they want to. It’s an EAGLE! Honestly, after reading just the title and seeind the logo, I thought the issue was going to be about it resembling a law enforcement logo. That would be ridiculous as well.

  16. Disgusting choice for a school symbol. Do these people have any type of education ?

  17. This is not a military school, so why use military logos?
    It’s not a coincidence.

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