After Salem's logo sent Florida State on a warpath, the Rockdale County high school set out to distinguish itself from Florida State University and its mascot the Seminoles.
On Aug. 12 Salem took the largest step in a process to disassociate its identity with FSU and adopted a new logo. That log is an Indian chief in profile, with a headdress that forms the word Salem.
The Salem Seminoles set out to form a new logo after entering a settlement agreement with FSU in March, agreeing to remove the Seminole head, Lady Seminole head and spear marks from its websites and publications within 30 days of the settlement, and take the logos off its football helmets before Aug. 1, 2011.
The helmets were stripped before the agreed upon date and now a new one is ready to be placed.
Salem Principal Tonya Bloodworth, along with her administration, agreed the best way to redesign the logo was to involve the entire Salem family, especially the students.
The students then offered several ideas, designs and sketches that were presented at Salem High school to the public.
"The students were a vital part of this process," Bloodworth said. "They had a difficult time hearing they would have to change the logo. Instead of complaining about it, they wanted to be a part of the process."
After students and other members of the Salem family shared with Bloodworth and her staff which drawings they liked the most, the administration went about selecting three.
The students then had the first 10 days of the school year to vote from the three finalists and selected one that was not only done by Salem students, but also involved other Rockdale County Public School institutions.
The winning design was drawn by Salem High junior and football player Lorenzo McWilliams and colored by Brandon Jones Jr., a member of the class of 2011. The two were not only Salem students, but also attended Rockdale Career Academy, where they brought the logo into their design class and worked on the finished product.
"It was not just the school family, but it was the Rockdale community that voiced their concern," Bloodworth said. "I had several parents and community members that called and they were able, for many of them that came in during the summer, to see the sketches provided by our student body."
Along with the Rockdale community, another community also voiced their opinion to Bloodworth - the Florida State community. Several called Salem and its principal to discuss the issue.
"We had several calls from alumnus of this school and Florida State showing their concern; just cheering us on saying they would help us in any way," Bloodworth said. "We had several Florida State alumnus call and voice their concern for and against it."
Some FSU alumni even offered to donate money in order to help Salem make the change.
Salem is still in the process of making the change and will continue to do so, in what Bloodworth called "a process."
"Several changes needed to be made, and we're in agreement that this would be a process," Bloodworth said.
After deciding on a logo, the next step in that process was Salem passing it on to the superintendent's office, where she thinks the school board's lawyer will be able to make sure something like the actions brought down in March from FSU doesn't happen again.
"I've given it to my superintendent and his cabinet, and I'm sure they will review and look at it and that will include our attorney as well," Bloodworth said. "They key difference in the logo that was selected is it is very unique to Salem because the logo itself has our name attached. That's what made this one stand out; it represented who we are and what we're called."