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Virginia athletics announces changes to new V-sabre logos

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Changes remove elements that evoked UVA’s history of slavery

North Carolina v Virginia Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images

Athletics director Carla Williams announced on Monday that two of the Virginia Cavaliers’ newly released logos have been retouched to remove design elements that hearken to UVA’s participation in the institution of slavery.

The handles of the sabres in the main V-sabres logo, and the secondary Cavalier shield mark, originally featured a curved pattern “that mimics the design of the serpentine walls found on Grounds,” according to the press statement at the time of the first release.

“After the release of our new logos on April 24th, I was made aware of the negative connotation between the serpentine walls and slavery,” Williams said Monday in a written statement. “I was not previously aware of the historical perspective indicating the original eight-foot-high walls were constructed to mask the institution of slavery and enslaved laborers from public view.”

The connection between the serpentine walls and UVA’s history with slavery was discussed in a 2017 symposium, as part of a broader project to “explore and report on UVA’s historical relationship with slavery.

In connection with the change to the logos, the athletic department announced that fans who purchased apparel with the new V-Sabre or Cavalier Shield logos between April 24 and June 14 can exchange that apparel for the updated logo by emailing the athletics department at athleticsmarketing at virginia dot edu.