NEW YORK CITY — Mayor Bill de Blasio may consider changing New York City’s seal, which depicts a shirtless Native American named Sinister wielding a bow, after a curious reporter pointed his attention to the century-old insignia.
“It’s something of an unclear image it’s what saying to us,” de Blasio said during his press conference Monday. “It’s the kind of thing a commission should look at carefully and decide if it still makes sense for the 21st century.”
The seal shows a sailor named Dexter and the figure a New York City website refers to as “Sinister, an Indian of Manhattan,” standing with a shield that depicts two beavers and two flour barrels.
The names refer to the sailor and Native American’s position on the seal: Dexter, the right, and Sinister, the left.
De Blasio expressed willingness to reconsider the seal as New York and cities across the nation question the value of monuments honoring Americans with histories of racism.
Nearly 15,000 people have signed a petition demanding the renaming of Columbus Circle, but de Blasio has deferred to the judgement of a 2017 commission which found the monument to hold historic significance.
"The commission did really careful, extensive work...really good, devoted people who care about understanding all of history,” de Blasio said in June. “We should, I think, just stick to what was achieved by that commission.”
On Monday, one City Hall reporter took to Twitter to ask city dwellers what might make for a more appropriate seal.
The answers were, unpredictably, a sea lion, the groundhog that died after de Blasio dropped him, a pigeon encircled by a bagel, the Mets logo, and an homage to former MTA Chairman Andy Byford, formerly known as “Train Daddy.”