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County Calls for Second Round of Submissions for New Arlington Logo

Arlington County is once more accepting new logo designs through June 17 — with more explicit guidelines about what the design should omit.

The county has reopened submissions and pushed back the timeline for choosing a logo in response to dissatisfaction in some corners about the five finalists (below) that were originally put to the community for a vote in May.

County Board members, who were scheduled to make a decision in June, appeared to take what people said online seriously. During a recessed meeting of the County Board last month, Board members directed County Manager Mark Schwartz to arrange more opportunities to submit logo ideas and possibly consider rejected designs.

“Providing this one additional short opportunity might give us broader ownership of this decision,” Board Chair Matt de Ferranti said during the meeting.

Those who already submitted a logo idea in the first round need not re-submit, according to the submission webpage. But designers who have since changed a design they already submitted are invited to send in the altered design as a new entry.

After the submission window closes at midnight on Friday, June 18, a Logo Review Panel will look over the new submissions and work with a design firm to refine the designs. The community is slated to vote on the new finalists in late July and the panel is scheduled to make a final recommendation to the County Board in September.

This time around, the Logo Review Panel is asking designers to avoid referencing Arlington’s well-known monuments — such as the Air Force Memorial, Netherlands Carillon, Tomb of Unknown Soldier, and the Pentagon — or state symbols like the dogwood flower and “Virginia is for Lovers” icon.

“Arlington is a special and unique place that encompasses more than federal presence,” said guidance from the panel on the submission page. “We want our logo to convey what’s distinctive about Arlington on its own merits.”

Of state symbols, the guidance added: “These are not unique to Arlington and are used in commonly used in many other places.”

The logo guidance encourages designers to consider what is special about the county that “best represents all residents and stakeholders” and “won’t go out of style quickly.”

County spokeswoman Jennifer K. Smith said it is “too early to know” if the first five finalists (below) could resurface during the decision-making process.

All designs have to be original and new, the county says, and and individuals can submit up to three concepts. The logo should “look good” whether large or small, in color or black and white and in various media.

The new logo will replace an existing design featuring a stylized representation of Arlington House, the plantation house of Confederate General Robert E. Lee at Arlington National Cemetery. The Arlington branch of the NAACP criticized it last summer as “divisive and racist.”

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