The school badge is the graphical symbol that represents an educational institution and the values it aims to inculcate in its learners. 𝗜𝘁𝘀 𝘀𝗼𝗹𝗲 𝗽𝘂𝗿𝗽𝗼𝘀𝗲 𝗶𝘀 𝘁𝗼 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗷𝗲𝗰𝘁 𝗮 𝗽𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗶𝗰𝘂𝗹𝗮𝗿 𝗶𝗺𝗮𝗴𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗮𝗻 𝗶𝗻𝘀𝘁𝗶𝘁𝘂𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻’𝘀 𝘃𝗮𝗹𝘂𝗲𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗯𝗲𝗹𝗶𝗲𝗳𝘀.
How do school badges arise? Most of the time they’re a product of history and legacy.
The design of Union High School’s badge, known as the A.E. Puttick badge, dated 1927, was at the time guided by the schools’ origins, bearing in mind the school’s imagined future, while conforming to the societal conventions of the time.
While the badge in itself consist of a collection of graphics and colours, each a unique response from the people setting up the school – their answer to the question of what does a school represent – The Union Flag featured in the badge, in particular, is representational of the Union of South Africa being part of the British Commonwealth of Nations at that time.
But, no matter how much time, effort and thought is put into it, 𝘴𝘤𝘩𝘰𝘰𝘭 𝘣𝘢𝘥𝘨𝘦 𝘥𝘦𝘴𝘪𝘨𝘯𝘴 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘯𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘳𝘶𝘭𝘺 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘦𝘵𝘦. They all evolve with time, changing societal conditions, and most importantly, how learners take home their memories of what their school badge means to them.
Today, based on the multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-racial and multi-lingual composition of the learners at the school, Union is a microcosm of the community around it.
Very few schools can actually claim this and it is this very fact that charges Union with being an agent for social cohesion within the community, by promoting a greater understanding of cultural diversity among its learners.
And, as Union doesn’t operate in a vacuum, it is influenced by the happenings in the community and in-turn the school has an impact on the town it inhabits.
Union therefore has an important role to play in nurturing the community to be socially inclusive. We are in a position to build bridges between different cultural perspectives. This can be done in an atmosphere of shared learning, within the safety of the school grounds in the first instance, but also through reaching out to the wider community, and through making small – but impactful – changes, such as a change to the design of the school’s badge.
While there’s a 100 years of legacy locked up in Union’s badge, we can’t ignore that it doesn’t serve to truly represent the entire school community in this day and age.
The South African national flag represents a converging of paths, the merging of both past and present. It represent a synopsis of the country’s vexillological history and current political realities. It represents a compromise, the binding together of all sections of the people in one common sentiment.
𝗜𝘁𝘀 𝗱𝗲𝘀𝗶𝗴𝗻 𝗺𝗮𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿𝘀.
Including it in our school badge, will make a monumental difference to the badge’s ability to unify the learners and school community it represents in that it will truly serve to be an accurate reflection of our school community going forward.
We hope that with a bit of time it comes to be an image that learners, parents and staff invest their pride in, a badge that represents and connects the incredible little community of the Union Schools.