Belfast case of Crown v Q

May 26, 2000

Plans by Queen's University, Belfast, to drop Queen Victoria's crown from its 90-year-old logo have drawn unionist fire.

The new logo, a large letter Q, will help distinguish Queen's in a competitive market, management insists. But Revd Ian Paisley's Democratic Unionists say the change is an attack on unionist heritage and culture.

Ian Paisley junior, a Queen's graduate, said: "The coat of arms is a vital part of the university's history. It is a disgrace that a university named after Queen Victoria no longer plays the national anthem and is to relegate the coat of arms featuring the crown as the institution's primary symbol."

Tom Collins, director of communications, said a new corporate identity was one of 100 or so recommendations from consultants and a review group two years ago.

"The consultants found deep loyalty, reverence and respect for the crest as a symbol of quality and tradition. That support was equally strong among nationalists and unionists. But the research also found that the crest does not mean much to people outside the university," he said.

"It was felt we needed a modern logo that would be more identifiable. The new logo will be our primary marketing tool, but the coat of arms is still a core component."

* Vice-chancellor George Bain has announced Lanyon II, a Pounds 57 million project named after the original architect, to transform Queen's and aid Belfast's bid for European City of Culture status.

Expansion includes a student centre, arts quarter, child-care and health facilities, restaurants, bars and cafes, along with areas for the study of drama and film.

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