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Schools Own Fluco “F” Trademark

Spurred by last year’s debate over the “Rainbow F,” Fluvanna County Public Schools sought and now legally own the logo. On Nov. 12 the schools notified the press it trademarked the Fluco “Flying F.” Superintendent Chuck Winkler said only the shape of the “F” is trademarked, not the colors. Any use of the “ Fluco F” outside of district sponsored items, activities, or student projects will require permission,” Winker said. “We purposefully kept the color blank (neutral) since we know there are a variety of colors in use now and maybe in the future (i.e. camo, blue, yellow, rainbow, etc.). In essence, we own the rights to the “F”, so any changes will go through FCPS.” In October 2018 the High School Alliance Club asked the Board for permission to alter the colors of the logo from the blue and gold to those of the rainbow. The group, who said they are allies to Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender and Questioning people, did not ask to permanently change the logo. Students said they wanted to print the rainbow F on stickers, t-shirts and other items to show support for those students who are often maligned by society. Over a course of three months the community expressed its concerns about the issue to the School Board. The debate illuminated: Others changed the logo without asking. One used the American flag colors; others camouflage and pink; The schools did not own a trademark on the logo; Many LGBTQ students suffer mental, emotional and physical harm, which seemed to surprise some Board members. On Jan. 9, the Board voted to allow the rainbow color change. Three Board members abstained: Charles Rittenhouse (Cunningham), Brenda Pace (Palmyra) and Andrew Pullen (Columbia). Shirley Stewart (Rivanna) and Perrie Johnson (Fork Union) voted for. That debate sparked a renewed interest in trademarking the logo. Before the Board meeting on Wednesday (Nov. 13) Winkler said if the Board decides to take up the issue of other altered logos, they can. “From now on if someone wants to modify the logo they must put in a request to the superintendent, who will then present it to the Board,” Winkler said. The Board will have to determine what metrics it will use to grant or deny changes, Winkler said, and will likely take up the issue either in December or January.
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