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Edmonton high school recalls graduation merch after comparisons to Nazi eagle design

Ross Sheppard High School is recalling and redesigning graduation merchandise after concerns were raised over the 2024 logo.

The mascot and logo of the school is the Thunderbird, a mythical being from First Nations culture in North America.

The logo that was designed for the 2024 graduating class merch was described by a parent of a student as an eagle that looked like the Nazi Reichsadler eagle.

“Who let this new design skip through? It’s the SS Nazi eagle replacing the school logo of decades,” a parent wrote in an email to CTV News Edmonton.

The Reichsadler eagle has been a symbol of Germany for centuries, dating back to the holy roman empire, and was adopted by the Nazi party as one of its logos.

“The design was intended to reflect the Thunderbird, which is the school’s logo, and on top of the totem pole outside of the school,” said Veronica Jubinville, a communications consultant with Edmonton Public schools.

A photo of the recalled Ross Sheppard graduation merchandise (left – supplied) and a Nazi logo (right – Wikipedia).

In online comments, people expressed confusion over the design of the 2024 logo, questioning why it looked like an eagle instead of the Thunderbird.

One difference pointed out online is that the beak on the Thunderbird in the actual Ross Sheppard logo is much longer than the beak on the merch design.

“In response to concerns raised about the logo, the school immediately reclaimed the few items that had been distributed to students,” Jubinville said. “The school is working on a redesign of the logo and will redistribute graduation merchandise later this year.

“The school and Division take these concerns very seriously and we are committed to ensuring that the graduation gear meets the highest standards of quality and representation for Ross Sheppard’s graduating class.”

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