Alabama City's New 'F!' Logo Criticized by Residents Saying It Sends Wrong Message

The city of Florence, Alabama, caught immediate backlash when it unveiled its new logo—an "F!" with a stylized exclamation point—as residents petitioned to change it back to its previous logo, saying, "The people have spoken and we give this logo an F!"

On Tuesday, the city unveiled the new logo, with the exclamation point after the "F" formed from the "L" and "O" in the word "Florence," and the tagline "Live for More" on its Facebook page. In the post, the city said, "the mayor and Council set out to lead a branding and marketing campaign that reflects the modern-day feel of our beautiful town."

WAAY-TV reported on the new branding, saying it was handled by Birmingham, Alabama, marketing firm Tatum Design and cost the city $25,000.

The logo immediately received jeers from commenters on Facebook, with some of the top comments reading, "This feels like an episode of Parks and Rec," and, "Gotta admit, it's really impressive y'all made a decision so bad that people of all political beliefs can actually agree how awful it is."

Brandon Spinner, a meteorologist with WAFF, even used his Facebook page to comment on the logo: "Probably the exact response from some people as they walk out into the cold this morning... 'F!'"

A petition has been started to return the city's old logo, a seal with a fleur-de-lis in the center. As of Friday afternoon, it has received more than 7,500 signatures, not far from its goal of 10,000.

Comments on the petition called the logo "unattractive," "an embarrassment" and "close to vulgar."

"The mayor and Council outsourced a Birmingham-based design company allocating 25,000 dollars of taxpayer money and this is the best they could come up with?" wrote Megan Statom, the petition's author. "It's time to go back to the drawing board on this one. Or here's a new thought: just keep the previous logo!"

A Wednesday news release from the city clarified that the "F!" logo would not replace the seal, but would "become a part of a family of logos" to "serve multiple needs and audiences as our community grows and moves forward."

On Thursday, Florence Mayor Andy Betterton wrote a letter to the city's residents addressing the criticism.

"I assure you that the City of Florence seal is still in place to reflect our historic roots," he wrote.

He said the rebranding project began in 2021, with the city wanting a more contemporary brand to attract new businesses and more tourism. He added that Tatum Design has won multiple awards "and has successfully helped many communities grow their branding."

"As we navigate developing the new branding, one thing is for sure; the process has highlighted our community's talents, humor, and love for Florence," Betterton wrote.

According to WAAY, Florence also has a $75,000 contract with Tatum Design for the firm to redesign the city's website. That contract has not yet been completed.

Florence, Alabama, logo
Residents of Florence, Alabama, have rallied against a newly unveiled city logo. Above, the logo, which has the letter "F" with an "L" and "O" stylized to look like an exclamation point. The City of Florence