University of Virginia athletics director Carla Williams announced Monday that changes have been made to two of the new marks the department released on April 24. The sabres that are featured in the new V-Sabre logo, and on the Cavalier Shield, have been changed to remove the curves that were added to the handles.
At the time of the marks’ unveiling, it was noted that “detail was added to the grip of the sabres that mimics the design of the serpentine walls found on Grounds.”
“After the release of our new logos on April 24, I was made aware of the negative connotation between the serpentine walls and slavery,” Williams said. “I was not previously aware of the historical perspective indicating the original eight-foot-high walls were constructed to mask the institution of slavery and enslaved laborers from public view.
“Over the last few weeks, I have worked to better educate myself and that education will continue.
“There was no intent to cause harm, but we did, and for that I apologize to those who bear the pain of slavery in our history. As such, we have redesigned the logos to remove that detail. All other aspects of the logos will remain the same.”
The original serpentine walls, built in the 1820s, were later removed to allow for more space in the alleyways behind the Pavilions. In the 1950s the current walls were constructed with a wider berth and are shorter in height than the original walls.
The Virginia athletics department has started the process of replacing the logos with new versions that return to straight-line handles.
The V-Sabre mark is the primary logo for Virginia athletics. The Cavalier Shield mark is one of two new secondary logos intended to be used as detail graphics on uniforms, on social media and on apparel.
Fans who purchased apparel with the new V-Sabre or Cavalier Shield logos between April 24 and June 14 and who are interested in an exchange are asked to email the athletics department at Athleticsmarketing@virginia.edu.