Iowa Police Department To Change Logo Over Resemblance To KKK Grand Dragon

A police department in Iowa will be changing its logo following concerns it resembles one used by the Ku Klux Klan.

The Waterloo City Council approved plans on Monday to change the current logo which appears on the officers' badges and patrol cars because it looks like the Grand Dragon image, used on robes and other insignia to represent a high-ranking member of the KKK.

The original design of a griffin—a mythical creature consisting of a mixture of a lion and an eagle—was adopted by the department in 1964.

According to a resolution presented at Monday's council meeting, the Waterloo Police Department's current griffin logo "leaves many citizens and residents feeling uncomfortable and distrustful when dealing with the Waterloo Police Department [and] this discomfort and distrust can make the job of Waterloo law enforcement officers more difficult in carrying out their duties."

A committee will now be established to determine how to change the Waterloo City Police Department insignia, which will look at the scope, time-frame, and cost of creating a new logo.

"We need to be very mindful that the police were proud of that logo," council member Sharon Juon told KCRG. "Getting rid of that is very, very difficult, but we want to do it in such a way that they're proud of the new logo, and the community can be proud of the new logo as well."

Abraham Funchess, the city's human rights executive director, added: "If a significant segment of the community has a problem with it because invokes racial fear and trauma and reminds people of lynching and the state destruction of black bodies, why would we continue to support something like that?

"If we're listening to the community then we wouldn't want to do anything that resembles a griffin which invokes racial fear and trauma."

A KKK Grand Dragon would wear a different colored robe and hood such from the typical white in order to show their rank, such as green.

According to the Texas State History Museum, a Grand Dragon in Texas would wear an orange and black robe, complete with a dragon, to disguise the wearer's identity, which could include "prominent businessmen, police officers, and high-ranking public officials."

Waterloo City Mayor Quentin Hart will establish the committee of between eight and 12 individuals, which will include members of the public, to decide upon a new logo.

All recommendations regarding the logo change will require majority approval of the committee.

The Waterloo Police Department has been contacted for comment.

(File photo) The Grand Dragon of the Michigan Klu Klux Klan (L) addresses the crowd as another Klan member looks on during a KKK rally 21 August, 1999, in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. A police department in Iowa will be changing its logo following concerns it resembles one used by the KKK. DAVID MAXWELL/AFP/Getty