Prince William County seal

This version of the Prince William County seal, which features a white hand holding scales over a tobacco stalk, was adopted by county officials in 1935.

The Prince William County Human Rights Commission is asking the board of county supervisors adopt a new county seal that better reflects the county’s diversity. 

The Prince William County seal was adopted in 1935 and features a white hand holding scales evenly balanced over a stalk of tobacco. 

The human rights commission voted unanimously Thursday, Sept. 10 to adopt a resolution stating: “The current seal contains and depicts elements that are inconsistent with the values of our community,” including both the tobacco leaf and the hand, which is white. 

Commissioners wrote that the tobacco leaf’s uses are “widely discouraged and proven harmful to the health of residents and not an element to be promoted.” They added that the “Caucasian hand … is not representative of our richly diverse community comprised of a majority of residents of color.” 

“The residents of Prince William County deserve a seal that represents a unified community, celebrates diversity and promotes positive values,” the resolution said.

Human Rights Commissioner Evelyn BruMar said Monday that the county seal “doesn’t match who we are today.” 

BruMar added that as the county changes school and road names, she believes the county should also change the look of public documents that include the county seal. Earlier this summer, the Prince William County School Board changed the names of Stonewall Jackson High School and Stonewall Middle to Unity Reed High School and Unity Braxton Middle School. 

Both new names honor revered local Black residents: Arthur Reed, a high school security guard who died in 2018, and Carroll and Celestine Braxton, a Manassas couple who were local civil rights trailblazers. Celestine Braxton, who died in 2014, was one of a second wave of Black teachers who helped integrate county schools in the 1960s. Carroll Braxton, 96, was among the first Black men to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps in the 1940s. Both took part in efforts to desegregate businesses in Prince William County.

“Why not continue that theme of diversity?” BruMar said. 

During the Sept. 7-8 meeting of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, Chair Ann Wheeler, D-At Large, issued a directive to county staff to begin looking into what it would take to change the county seal.

Wheeler said the county seal “represents the identity of the community and of the stakeholders.”

“It's my belief … that the time has come to perhaps revisit the branding of our community to make it a little bit more inclusive and reflective of our multi-cultural diversity,” Wheeler said. 

Wheeler said on Monday, Sept. 14, that the board likely will not take up the review of the county seal until later this year or early 2021. 

You must be logged in to react.
Click any reaction to login.

Recommended for you

(4) comments



As Sonny & Cher once said, "And the beat goes on, the beat goes on." As we continue to "white" (sorry, the color is appropriate for the word) wash U. S. history, let's move on to what else the BOCS and HRC can put forth in resolutions: Change the name of our nation's capital (Washington DID, after all, own slaves), and while we're at it, get his face off the dollar bill and the quarter. Jefferson who wrote the Declaration of Independence (who also owned slaves) should have his name stricken from the history books. Change the name of James Madison University because...well, he also owned slaves. James Monroe HS, in Fredericksburg...yep, you guessed it...another slave owner. I understand that we're trying to right the wrongs of the past, but let's not rewrite our nation's history and trounce on the memory of our founding fathers (remember, without them, we'd be singing God Save the Queen). Before I go...change the name of Route 50 (Lee Highway...he was, after all a traitor to the U. S.) and Jeff Davis Highway...also a you-know-what. We can keep the names of the founders in tact, but just explain, in new history teachings, that they owned slaves, that that was Southern Society, it was wrong, but it's over and has been for over 150 years.


I guess life must be pretty good when all we have to debate are minor issues that 0.1% of the population even cares about. Did not even know there was a seal.


So, what is the County known for today? Suburban sprawl, high residential taxes, substantial illegal immigration and a namby-pamby, WASTEFUL County Board of Supervisors. That should be easily illustrated on the "new" seal.


LOL! Nail on head! You win today. [beam]

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.