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Hawaii Drops The Rainbow

University nickname will now be the 'warriors,' instead of the 'rainbow warriors'

The Hawaii Rainbow Warriors are no more
The Hawaii Rainbow Warriors are no more
Univ. of Hawaii

Story from 2000

Homophobia lives in paradise.

A University of Hawaii official has conceded that the school nixed the football team's 77-year-old rainbow logo because of concerns about its homosexual theme, the Associated Press reports. The symbol was adopted 77 years ago in reference to the colorful rainbows that appear over the islands each day.

School officials unveiled the new logo - an ``H'' edged in a traditional Hawaiian design called kapa - on Wednesday. And instead of the Rainbow Warriors, the team will now be known as the Warriors, AP said.

``That logo really put a stigma on our program at times in regards to it's part of the gay community, their flags and so forth,'' athletic director Hugh Yoshida told KGMB 9 TV on Thursday. ``Some of the student athletes had some feelings in regards to that.''

But, Yoshida added, the decision to abandon the rainbow was not anti-gay.

``We are just trying to get a new image out there,'' he said.

Of course, it would be the football team that took the lead. The women's volleyball team has announced it will keep its ``Rainbow Wahine'' name. And other teams still haven't decided.

Craig Stutzmann, a receiver on the football team, told the Honolulu Star-Bulletin he likes the change.

"I think it's great. I like it a lot better, especially the colors," he said. "I knew it would raise some issues, but overall I think it's better for the program. I can't wait to get in one of those helmets and start banging heads."

The gay connection to the rainbow was foremost on the mind of former receiver Kyle Mosely, who told Star-Bulletin:

"Being called the Rainbows, especially for men's teams, left them open to ridicule," Mosley said. "Warriors has a much stronger connotation."

Aesthetics were first on the mind of Scott Lum, a Hawaii native living in Seattle, who told the paper:

"My gosh, how ugly can you get! As a UH grad living on the mainland, I'm always concerned at how the people on the mainland view things in Hawaii. This (new) logo has got to be the worst. How many people outside the islands will know that the design is an old Hawaiian kapa pattern? After seeing the poor attempt to incorporate it into the university's logo, how many people will care? Our logo is an important part of our brand and usually one of the first impressions made on people. Rainbows, the ocean, native foliage and flowers -- these things represent Hawaii."