U. of Hawaii Changes Logo

Friday, July 28th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

HONOLULU (AP) — A University of Hawaii official has conceded that the school nixed the football team's 77-year-old rainbow logo because of concerns about its homosexual theme.

School officials unveiled the new logo — an ``H'' edged in a traditional Hawaiian design called kapa — on Wednesday. And instead of the Rainbow Warriors, the team will now be known as the Warriors.

``That logo really put a stigma on our program at times in regards to it's part of the gay community, their flags and so forth,'' athletic director Hugh Yoshida told KGMB 9 TV on Thursday. ``Some of the student athletes had some feelings in regards to that.''

But, Yoshida added, the decision to abandon the rainbow was not anti-gay.

``We are just trying to get a new image out there,'' he said.

In a statement, university spokesman Jim Manke said: ``The university is sorry if anyone was offended. That was not the intent of the remark. It was an example to illustrate potential confusion over the rainbow.''

Ken Miller, co-chairman of the Gay and Lesbian Community Center in Honolulu, criticized the university.

``It sends a very bad message — not only to the students but the athletes who happen to be gay and struggling with that issue,'' Miller said.

The university's old symbol and nickname stemmed from the rainbows that appear nearly every day over verdant Manoa Valley, where the main campus is located, and throughout much of the state.