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HELEN, Mont. – The commission that oversees the Montana State Library has rejected a proposal for a new logo after a member said the main feature – a prism – was reminiscent of the LGBTQ pride rainbow flag, something that she suggested would unleash a political storm.

Two commissioners and the state librarian are meeting again this month to suggest ideas for what to do next that they can bring to a commission meeting on August 3. The commission voted 4-3 earlier this month to reject the logo after paying a company $130,000 from non-taxpayer library foundation funds to create it as part of a restart of the large library system. The full contract is $292,500 and includes deployment of the new design.

Commissioner Tammy Hall argued at a meeting in June that approving the logo would spark an unnecessary political battle as the library seeks state funding from a Republican-controlled legislature next year. She suggested the logo be toned down in shades of blue, black and gray.

The rejected logo is predominantly blue and features four triangles – reddish orange, yellow, green and light blue – which symbolize the information being trumpeted outward.

“I think there are two things you can say today to start a news storm,” Hall said. “One is rainbow and the other is disinformation. They are very political explosive weapons.

Addie Palin of ad agency Hoffman York said “color calibration” was taken into account when working on the logo and the colors were more subdued “to avoid it being any sort of branding. of pride”.

Kevin Hamm, president of Montana Pride, said opposition to the logo isn’t much of a talking point in the LGBTQ community, but he took offense to the concern principle.

“If you’re going to have a problem with a logo and the first thing you think of is ‘Oh, it’s got bright colors and that’s a little too weird for me’, you’re a fanatic and you’re in trouble” , Hamm said. “Don’t throw my community under the bus just because all of a sudden rainbows make you think it’s all gay.”

Ahead of the July 5 logo vote, Hall said her vote in opposition had nothing to do with colors, adding that she was “sorry this has become such a big deal,” but because she thought the new logo should be part of the state government’s rebranding effort. which has just started.

Library staff and some commissioners said the logo symbolizes the work they do, which includes archiving the state’s government, historical and geographic information and making it available to the public.

“I think it’s a stretch to think that this represents a pride flag,” said commission chairman Kenning Arlitsch, noting that the progress pride flag has 11 colors and the library logo has four.