Friday, July 28, 2017

A Jay, or not a Jay - that is the question:

I like mascots, but one of my pet peeves is the improper use of mascots.  It especially bothers me when a team uses an animal as a mascot, but the name of the team and the animal mascot do not match.  If you are going to use an animal as a mascot, you should at least use the correct animal!  One of our local school districts uses the Blue Jay as its mascot.  However, it does not consistently use the same version of a Blue Jay.  One of the versions that it uses is not a Blue Jays at all! 

This is the version on the sign outside the high school.  That is a correct body shape and markings for a Blue Jay, but the colors are a little off.  It should have a white face and white chest/belly.  The feet and beak should be black not yellow, but overall this is pretty good compared to one of the other versions.  I think everyone seeing this would recognize that this is supposed to be a Blue Jay.

The next version appears on the sign outside the school district's central offices.  This "fighting" version seems to be a combination of a Blue Jay and Uncle Sam.  Other than the blue Uncle Sam beard, the markings on this Jay are pretty good.  There is no question that this mascot is a Blue Jay.

"Uncle Jay"wants you...
Here is another version of the same "fighting" Blue Jay.  Rendered in two tones, this version is used on signs pointing out various school facilities in town.  The markings on this version are good, even down to the v-shaped collar, and visible barring on the nearest wing.  This is a cartoon animal mascot done right.

Here is yet another version of the "fighting" Blue Jay.  This version is used on the sign for the district's elementary school.  It is not unusual for elementary schools to use a simplified cartoon version of the high school mascot.  The yellow beak and feet are wrong.  The bird lacks any black markings or white underparts.  (And what's up with the blue scarf?)   Despite these points, I'm actually okay with this as an elementary school mascot - it conveys the point that this is a Jay.  It's a "fighting" jay, but its also a friendly jay - look at the smile and happy eyes.

Despite what the sign says, this is not a Blue Jay.  That is a Northern Cardinal that has been painted blue.  This non-jay adorns the sign for the middle school.   Shame on the sign company for printing this...

From the worst "Jay" to the best.  This final version adorns a sign at the school's athletic complex.  Blue crest - check.  Black collar - check.  White face and underparts - check and check.  Black beak and feet - check.  Blue tail and wing feathers with black bars - check.  This is definitely "Blue Jay Country"!  I think John James Audubon himself would approve of this Blue Jay.

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