BUHLER — Buhler’s city logo depicting a Christian cross and the phrase “Traditional Values, Progressive Ideals,” will soon be no more.
Last Friday, Buhler received a complaint from the Freedom from Religion Foundation that a large sign in the city’s park and the city logo contain a religious cross. The organization stated that the sign, which was redesigned four months ago and now features a more prominent cross, violates the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution. By including the cross in the city logo, the organization argued that the government endorses Christianity.
Mayor Daniel Friesen said Tuesday night that, given the legal opinions the city received, he would not push for local government to fight to keep the cross on the sign.
“Everyone has a different idea on how to solve this issue,” Friesen said. “Fighting this at the city level probably isn’t the way our city wants to handle this. I think there’s a lot of private ways we can handle this in a positive way.”
Friesen said they don’t have a specific deadline for taking the sign down, but it is important the city show progress in the matter. City Council members Jeni Bryan and Jake Schmidt agreed that a city sign with a new logo should stay in the park.
“Although we need to change it, I think it can be redesigned to show what our community is. It’s important we keep it there,” Bryan said.
JC Keith seemed hesitant about fully approving to keep the sign in the park.
“Some of the comments that have been made in the last week or two are (about) the expense that we’ve already incurred and now (we have) another expense,” he said.
Friesen suggested holding a contest to determine what the new city logo would be. The logo would replace the design on the sign in the park, as well as be used on government forms.
The City Council members agreed that the contest would be open to all Buhler residents and Buhler High School students. The design should fit in the logo’s current egg shape. Friesen set Jan. 25 at noon as the deadline for submissions. Submissions can be sent by email to citybuhlerks.org or dropped off at the city office, 219 N. Main St., P.O. Box 187.
“I’d like to see it (come from) within Buhler,” Keith said of who can submit logo ideas. “I’ve had enough comments from the outside.”