Chalice chills

ChaliceChick, Dave Schroeder (Cogit8tor), Indrax (Heresiology) have each commented how much they didn’t like something about the new UUA flaming chalice logo. I wasn’t keen on it either, but regular readers know there’s a lot about UUA secretariat and General Assembly policies I don’t care for. This seemed pretty minor and easy to pass by. I just showed the new one to Hubby, whose stylistic opinion is flawless, and he said “That’s awful.” So it’s agreed, is it?

AUA chalice image

Only Cogit8tor’s comment about the new chalice logo being about fifty years old looking didn’t square with me. (The Fidelity Investments parallel made me laugh.) After all, I like the Unitarian chalice emblem from that period much better than anything used recently, or anything of the period the Universalists used. (A globe mostly, not the off-center cross as often mentioned.)

Since a lot of people haven’t seen the old one — I scanned this years ago from an official Unitarian clip art resource — this is for the record. Now, I’ll go back to not caring much about the new logo.

P.s. I wasn’t keen on Indrax’s suggested replacement. Another religion has something pretty darn close to it already.

P.p.s. I was going to mention the gawdawful 70s era “flaming brackets” chalice authorized for being engraved on veterans’ headstones. But it seems the standard was revised, and now your UU — er, “Unitarian Church” — headstone will look like letterhead. Take a look at what’s on offer: some are unpleasantly designed. I can now imagine this senario: “Oh, I didn’t mean Unitarian Church, I meant Buddhist. Or Community of Christ. That is a lamb, right? So either is fine. ”

P.p.p.s. Y’all must look at this.

By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.


  1. looking at the veteran’s tombstone emblems – I note the feds have no knowledge of the difference between trademark and copyright …
    the new UUA logo does seem to be designed to be hard to copy —
    maybe to prevent jewery sales on ebay??
    to reduce the likelyhood of a UU Teddybear?

    and yes, it does look like a designer did several designs and told a committee to pick one…..
    … and they picked the most corporate looking one. and told the designer to “fix it”
    (or does the fact that it is out of balance mean something. )

    since the UUA is an association, could we have more than one emblem?
    one for the non-conformist UUs? (hmm, and isnt that a set-up for a gagline!)

  2. Hi Scott —

    I like the Unitarian emblem from fifty years ago — it was ahead of its time.

    I was comparing the “new” UUA-recommended log to stodgy old corporate designs from the 1950s, and in general I still believe that’s an apt comparison.

    And I completely agree with with StevenR’s assessment that it’s the result of a committee making a poor choice.

    Now, how about someone or two people coming up with something clearly superior — TWO circles, a real chalice, and a contemporary look?

    My best — Cogit8tor

  3. On the mall chalice — did you notice the ones in Walt Whitman Mall, New York?

    Designing a new chalice isn’t easy. Try it yourself. I like the asymmetrical one we’ve had. I have friends who hate that the chalice looks like a cross. It’s difficult.
    Make it contemporary? Like give it a tongue peircing? :-)

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