The Williamson County board of commissioners approved a resolution to create a task force to reevaluate the county seal in an 18-5 vote on July 13.
The task force, narrowly approved by the county budget committee on July 6, will be composed of various community members and historians to determine if there is a “substantial need” to change the design of the county seal, per the requirements of the Tennessee Historical Commission.
Williamson County Rogers Anderson said the creation of the nine-member task force would address the issue on the seal’s redesign in a timely manner without being political.
As a part of the resolution, the members of the task force will be composed of the following:
- A representative from Williamson Inc. who will serve as chair
- A representative from the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County
- A representative from the African American Heritage Society of Williamson County
- Two representatives from families that have lived in the county for at least 3 generations, with one representative required to be African American
- A representative who is an African American educator, business owner or manager in the county
- A representative who is an African American religious or community leader
- A representative from the Williamson County Convention and Visitors Bureau
- Williamson County historian Rick Warwick
The resolution was sponsored by five commissioners on the board, including commissioners Keith Hudson, Brian Beathard, Chas Morton, Betsy Hester and Paul Webb.
“Some people claim it’s a symbol of heritage, but for me and for a lot of people that look like me, it’s the same as a swastika—it has a similar meaning,” Commissioner Keith Hudson said. “If it’s in a business or organization, you’re sending the message that ‘We don’t want you here,’ and if you can’t see another person’s opinion [on] a flag that has two meanings, then shame on you.”