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Wichita North High reveals new 'RedHawks' logo

Hugo Phan

Two years after a vote to change its controversial mascot name, Wichita North High unveiled its new logo.

Gardner Designs

Wichita North High School unveiled its new logo on Thursday.

The new design comes in the wake of the decision to change the school's mascot to "RedHawks" in February 2021. The previous mascot was an offensive term for Native Americans.

Local artist and North High alumnus Bill Gardner designed the logo free of charge. Gardner says the architecture of the school — which includes red hawk sculptures — as well as its heritage was the inspiration for the artwork.

"When we discovered the birds up on top of the tower, we said, 'These things have been here since 1928.' There's always been 16 red hawks that have been soaring over the top of this school, kind of protecting it," he says.

Because of the school's pre-existing connection to the bird, Gardner says the school was in a unique position to pick a name that already had roots at North High.

"You could create any kind of falcon or eagle or hawk and do they really speak to the institution or to that entity?
"They often don't, but I think that this particular mark ... because he was drawn out of the aesthetic of the school, it really speaks to the school."

The previous mascot dated from the school's founding in 1929.

The school board voted unanimously to drop the controversial mascot name at the recommendation of a committee formed to study the issue.

Hugo Phan is a Digital News Reporter at KMUW, and founding member of the KMUW Movie Club. After years of being a loyal listener, he signed up to be a KMUW volunteer and joined the station's college student group before becoming a digital assistant in 2013.