Voice: Sun man represented El Centro well

March 28, 2002

El Centro's happy sun has set.

That friendly, smiling sun with the jaunty hat and neckerchief inviting businesses, snowbirds and tourists alike to El Centro as the place "Where the sun spends the winter," may never rise again.

Originality be damned. The mundane is in. Uniqueness is out; the copycat philosophy of logos is in.

The sun man, with the obvious implication that El Centro is a friendly city, was the brainchild of the late Bill Duflock, secretary-manager of the chamber for nearly a half century. The sun man has been this community's emblem of recognition for nearly as long. It was unique to El Centro. It was El Centro's enviable identity to the nation. The slogan accompanying it, "Where the sun spends the winter," was equally appropriate.

Replacing the happy face offering a cool, friendly sun, is a logo that could represent almost any community in the sprawling Southwest. Its sun is not the least inviting; indeed, it is torrid, and torrid is hardly inviting.


The use of color is presumed to represent the Valley's assets, agriculture, the desert, and water. Sound like Yuma? Or Casa Grande? Gila Bend? The arrow pointing to El Centro at the very bottom of an outline of California prompts a question of whether this city is in California or Mexico.

But perhaps most disturbing of all is the way in which the new emblem was adopted. Four years ago, the Chamber of Commerce, with City Hall support attempted to change El Centro's logo. It was said at the time the sun man was "undignified." The proposal met with such an outburst of community rage, the issue was dropped.

This time, it was all handled in apparent secrecy and became known only when the City Council suddenly approved it by a 5 to 0 vote with no prior discussion. That is not how a democracy is supposed to work. Shame on both the city and the chamber.


Past president

El Centro Chamber of Commerce

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