March 14, 2018

Holy Cross eliminating Crusader mascot, logo

Photo | Grant Welker
The College of the Holy Cross will eliminate its knight-and-sword logo.
Photo | Grant Welker
The interlocking HC, currently the secondary Holy Cross logo, now will become the school's primary logo.

Even though the College of the Holy Cross board of trustees voted in January to keep the Crusader name for its athletics program, the Worcester college will phase out the current knight-and-sword Crusader logo and retire its costumed mascot.

Holy Cross President Rev. Philip Boroughs announced the moves on Wednesday evening, in a letter to the college's students, faculty, alumni and staff.

Replacing the knight-and-sword logo for all Holy Cross athletic teams, uniforms and advertising will be an interlocking HC on a purple shield, which is currently the secondary athletics logo, Boroughs said.

"I understand these decisions will be a disappointment to some of you, but I trust our community's support for Holy Cross and for our athletic teams will continue unwaveringly," Boroughs wrote.

Last year, Holy Cross researched the possibility of switching away from the Crusader name entirely, over concerns of ties to the medieval Holy Wars, which resulted in the massacres of men, women and children in the Middle East. The college's student newspaper in January changed its name to The Spire from The Crusader, looking to distance itself from the Holy Wars and because the newspaper of the hate group KKK is also called The Crusader.

After the Holy Cross trustees made their decision in January to not switch away entirely from the Crusader name, Boroughs said this is because the Crusader name has evolved over time and and now stands for all the good Holy Cross students, faculty and alumni have done as part of the school's Catholic and Jesuit identity, such as serving marginalized populations in Haiti or joining the Peace Corps.

However, in his letter Wednesday, Boroughs said the school's mascot and logo don't represent this updated view of the Crusader.

"Upon reflection on this contemporary definition, it is clear that our current visual representations of the Crusader do not align with this understanding," Borough wrote. "For some, knight imagery alone could convey nobility, chivalry and bravery. However, the visual depiction of a knight, in conjunction with the moniker Crusader, inevitably ties us directly to the reality of the religious wars and the violence of the Crusades. This imagery stands in contrast to our stated values."

Boroughs said all knight-related imagery will be phased out over the coming months, including the costumed mascot.

"I want to thank all of you who have participated in this discussion about our identity. These conversations aren't easy, but they are necessary," Boroughs wrote. "I am hopeful we have emerged with an even stronger sense of who we are and what we stand for, and that you all remain as proud as I am to be a part of the Holy Cross community."

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