Pride The Lion - Team GB Mascot
Pride the Lion has been selected as the mascot for Team GB at the London 2012 Olympic Games. This appears to be a deliberately safe choice after the controversy over the one eyed mascots chosen for the Olympic Games, no doubt at a cost of millions through an advertising agency.
Whilst Pride the Lion looks a reasonable mascot and I can imagine it will catch on ok and will be popular as cuddly toys for kids too, it does seem that we can’t seem to think beyond our traditions and not always good ones.
Whilst a lion represents pride and power, I wonder if it will also be borrowed by far right groups in the same way that the flag of St George has been. It should be something to be proud of but the fact that first the Union Jack and then the Flag of St George was commandeered by the likes of the National Front and the English Defence League and is now identified with them largely.
I wonder how our black athletes feel about it too. I’d be surprised if they felt it represented them very much. Isn’t it about time that we recognised and celebrated the fact that, whether the Tories like it or not, we ARE a multi racial society and will be forever now and the likes of the BNP and the EDL should just get over it and indeed celebrate the fact.
Of course, that does beg the question of what could have replaced Pride the Lion, and there lies the rub. Do we have anything that represents our multiracial country and perhaps we should be looking at this in the longer term. Can we come up with something that represents our diversity and celebrates it, rather than harking back to the days of Empire?
Pride the Lion - Avoiding Controversy
It will be interesting to see reactions to Pride the Lion being accepted as the mascot; I’m sure the Express and Mail will love it as it represents good old England! But it will be interesting to see the reaction of second and third generation immigrants as the Games approaches.
For me, it doesn’t come as a surprise and certainly avoids the controversy that surrounded both the mascot and the logo for the 2012 games (it took me over a year before I realised the logo actually said ‘2012’ !) but it feels like a missed opportunity too, something I hope won’t be repeated at the games themselves.