A Logo (abbreviation) of logotype from Greek logos ‘word’, according to Wikipedia is a graphic mark, emblem or symbols commonly used by commercial enterprises, organizations and even individuals to aid and promote instant public recognition. The English word logic is derived from the Greek word, logos which appeal to the intellect, reason, logic and data.
A logo has much to do with appealing to the peoples/the audience sense of reasoning, logic and rationality; the way an argument is put forward, besides being a brand, symbol for states, organizations and establishments/institutions identity. They are purely graphic emblems, symbols, icons and logos composed of the name of the state, organization/institution (a logotype or word mark).
A state logo therefore is a graphic, emblem and symbolic representation of what a particular state stance for, its quality, its philosophical/ethos/values and even resources which such a state/nation is committed to showcase to the outside world as a reflection of its heritage worth consideration by others. It is a forceful but appealing representation that briefly tells the identity of a people belonging to a particular geographic entity, and clearly placed the people from the particular state in a pinnacle that will without mistake identify them with the icon by the other people.
Recently, the Governor of Cross River State, Senator Ben Ayade presented before the members of the State Executive Council, a new logo to replace the old one. The new logo embossed in red rectangle, a white circle with 18 red stars within the white circle and a white bull in a red background will take the place of the current state logo of blue and white colors, “Destination Cross River, The People’s Paradise” with a white Snail” as the image of the state.
As expected, there has been various reactions to the news of a new logo for the state by the indigenes and non-indigenes of the state on the appropriateness or otherwise of the new Cross River State Logo. While some viewed the new logo as a noble idea and innovation by Governor Ayade, some feel that there is nothing wrong with the present state’s logo, expressing misgiving about the choice of the color
“Red” over others.
The purpose of this short article therefore is to allay the fears of those who seem to be chronically allergic to the red color in the new logo, and succinctly and concisely outline merits, positive verves, philosophical and spiritual values and significance behind the new Cross River state Logo.
It is true that two major changes occurred in the new logo, which includes the replacement of the blue color with the red, and also the replacement of the “leaping fish” pictogram with the “Bull” representation, while the white color is retained.
The intention of this writer is not to undermine the ingenuity, patriotism, vision and philosophy of originator of the previous state logo, but to appreciate the purpose it serves at the time it was needed and best suited our situation; and to state reasons for the new one, the merits, vision/dream, spiritual vims and philosophical force which propels the coming forth of the new logo for the state.
Frankly speaking, this may be a very hard talk to swallow by some Cross Riverian, but it is true that from creation in May 27, 1967 to its re-christened to Cross River on February 3, 1976, right to the end of the 20th century and nosedived to this early hours of the 21st century, Cross River State and its people have continued to be noted positively as not only very friendly, accommodating and peace-loving state and people, but has equally acquired the notorious connotation of a people believed by other Nigerians to be lazy, people who don’t fight for their rights, but slumber away comfortably while they are being dispossessed of their possessions.
In fact, not until the former Governor of the state, Mr. Donald Duke came and push the state away from the bottom rung of the ladder in the comity of Nigerian states and gave it prominence, and then built upon by Senator Liyel Imoke, Cross River was less than a periphery state in the comity of Nigerian states, especially after the creation of Akwa Ibom on September 23, 1987.
Indeed, the state color of blue and white/logo of blue and white with a white snail as symbol fitted aptly the regalia we inherited and adorned as the most peaceful people in Nigeria and the equally unacceptable and repulsive manner we are regarded as lazy and unserious people whose trade-mark is enjoyment and leisure. Note that while it is true that many Cross Riverians like other Nigerians have achieved great strides in all fields of human endeavors, the reality remains that many Cross Riverians have refused to dare into the unknown murky territories and fields of endeavors.
However, the present administration of Senator Ben Ayade marks a watershed as it is determinately committed to taking a radical detour from the 20th century negative connotations overtly or covertly acquired and which nosedived to this wee hours of the 21st century, and take a more aggressive world outlook in approaching our existence as a people; hence the new Cross River Logo.
In the new logo, the white color is retained. In the absence of other colors, only white, the dimension of life beyond exists, and it is an all-inclusive as the white light has all the seven colors. White is a sign of purity, hence an individual or a people who chooses white are walking the spiritual route.
As opposed to the fears by some that the color red is a complete representation of evil or bloodshed, rather, red exudes all that is positive, attractive, ennobling and lovely. It is equally said to radiate warm, energy, passion and action, masculine energy, as it also denotes a pioneering spirit and qualities of leadership. It equally inspires emotions and drives us to action, encourages us on the path of ambition and determination to take action, just as it is reputed to be strong-willed and can provide confidence to those who lack will-power. It exudes passionate belief in an undertaking. Red creates vivacity and exuberance.
Reputed as the color of physical movement, red arouses our physical life force and sexuality by stimulating deeper intimate passions such as love and sex, hence it is used to express love, as in Valentine’s Day. Red also help to arouse appetite, while in China, red represent Good luck and traditional color for wedding gowns in India. The saying that the entire place is painted red fitted aptly to the worth and value of the red color.
Agreed, red color also connote war and blood as even Jesus Christ shall wear red in his return to do battle with the enemies of truth and righteousness. Reduce to our situation, the red representation in this instance indicates that the administration of Ayade is poised to do battle with all the encumbrances that had hitherto held us down as a people in all sphere of endeavors as a people and chart a new and
prosperous course for Cross Riverians of today, tomorrow and those of the generations to come.
In the new logo, a Bull replaced the leaping fish (fish emphatically) and not a dolphin as claimed by some persons. In constellation and mythology (Zodiac signs), Taurus, the second sign of the zodiac is represented by the sign of a bull. Taurus, means bull in Latin. Greek mythology said that in order to get close to Europa and seduce her, god Zeus transformed into a bull. After winning Europa’s heart, Zeus carried her to Crete where he revealed himself as Zeus and the relationship resulted in three sons, the most prominent son being Minus, who became the famous king of Crete. Eventually, Zeus showed his respect and placed bull in the night sky.
Bull represents fecundity, leadership role at home and in the public as well as the renewal of power. The bull is said to have a fiery disposition that makes it a strong role model. It help to puts one on firm footing as the individual struggle with authority and then encourages the person to accept the responsibility and forge ahead till the assignment or job is done, just as it teaches teamwork.
Bull represents the qualities of strength, stamina, fertility, virility, level headedness, calmness, sensitiveness, sentimental, generosity and loyalty. It can also become so rage and furious when pushed to the wall, of course this attribute is not peculiar to the bull but to almost all animals including the so-called higher animal, man.
The color, Blue equally carries some important attributes and qualities to include loyalty, strength, wisdom, trust, sincerity, freedom, imagination, inspiration, stability, confidence, intelligence, heaven and earth and expansiveness.
On the aspect of the symbolism of a snail or leaping fish, cultures across the world attributed important qualities and virtues to this creature, though it is notoriously reputed for slowness, just as it is classified as one of the unclean creatures in the old testament of the bible. The qualities attributed to the snail include change, fertility, healing, mobility, patience, evolution sensitivity, androgyny, time/cycles, self-Reliance, and self-Assurance.
The spirit and motivation behind the change from the old to the new logo is to exert a forceful, progressive and proactive spirit of enterprise and motivation upon Cross Riverians of the 21st century, and the need for them to have explicit confidence in their individual and collective abilities, sense of pride and worth as a people. The qualities of the color red and those of the bull in the new logo speak volumes of the intent of the initiator of this change, Senator Ben Ayade.
There is therefore every need for the people of the state to support the government vision and accept and embrace the new logo of Cross River as it is presently presented or with some modification.
Research indicates that the most frequent used color in national flags, coat of arms/emblems and other flags is the Red color which has 148 with 77.08 percent, White, 140 with 72.92 percent, Blue, 102 with 53.13 percent, Yellow Gold, 89 with 46.30 percent, Green, 87 with 45.31 percent, Black, 59 with 30.73 percent, Orange, 9 with 4.69 percent, Brown, 9 with 4.69 percent, Gray, 6 with 3.13 percent and Purple with 1.04 percent. In the same vein, most of the nation’s Emblems and coat of arms color combinations have red color including the Coat of Arm of Nigeria.
While we are committed to remain a highly spiritual and hospitable people that we are noted for as reflected in the retention of the white color in the logo, we want to be dominated by the spirit of enterprise and self-assertion, and the audacity to dare in this 21st century that we may as a people keep pace with the rest of the global community.
Remember, while the strength of a horse is spent in race and battle field that of the bull is to plough to provide for the survival of mankind. There could not have been a better animal symbol for our dear Cross River Logo than the red color and the strong and hardworking bull, irrespective of whether or not we breed and keep horned bulls in Cross River state, after all, we have our own native hornless bull which made us breeders and keepers of bulls, hence it is a part of our culture.
This change could not have come at a more auspicious time than now that we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of our existence as a state in Nigeria. Happy 50th year anniversary celebration to all Cross
Solomon Asha is a Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River.
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