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Symbolic or suggestive? Cattaraugus County seal causes controversy

Posted at 2:14 PM, Oct 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-29 22:16:39-04

OLEAN, N.Y. (WKBW) — Since 1808, buildings in Cattaraugus County have featured this signature seal. More than 200 years later, it’s causing quite the controversy.

“I’ve gotten quite a few complaints…people say when they come into the building their kids look up and see the emblem. It’s very revealing and it’s disgusting to them,” said County Legislator Vergilio “Dick” Giardini.

It’s clear the seal has ruffled a few feathers.

“I think it maybe it could be changed…maybe a little more clothing,” said Kira Zink of Olean who saw it on her way into the Cattauraugus County Office Building with her son.

“I’ve worked in Cattaraugus county for a number of years, it has always been the seal,” said Jack Searles, Cattauraugus County Administrator.
The emblem is symbolic.

“The standing figure represents New York state, the kneeling figure represents Cattaraugus County which is applying for membership in New York State,” said Searles.

But when we asked why the figures are topless, Searles said it’s just part of the design.

“I think we should take care of it,”said Giardini. “I do believe most legislators are on board with doing something, but what we’re going to do we don’t know yet.”