Saving History Saturday: A New Logo for the Medical Museum

Maybe it’s not preservation news per se, but it’s news about museum involved in historic preservation and interpretation… The National Museum of Civil War Medicine revealed their new logo earlier this month!

In recent years, the National Museum of Civil War Medicine has expanded and now includes sites at Antietam and in Washington D.C., along with the main museum in Frederick, Maryland. Museum staff explained that they felt it was time to update their logo to reflect their goals and unique offerings better.

“When choosing a new logo for the Museum, it was critical that it reflected our larger mission to be the premier center for the preservation and research of the legacy of Civil War medical innovation and humanitarianism.”

“The foundational element of the new logo is the shield. Historically, shields communicate stability, protection, longevity, tradition, solidity, boldness, academia, and confidence. The shield’s connection as a symbol of armed conflict is obvious. The Caduceus is the staff carried by Hermes in Greek mythology. It’s a short staff entwined by two serpents, sometimes topped by wings. In Roman iconography, it was often depicted being carried in the left hand of Mercury, the messenger of the gods, guide of the dead, and protector of merchants, shepherds, gamblers, liars, and thieves. The Caduceus is often confused with the Rod of Asclepius, especially in American culture; however, it is historically accurate to the symbol worn by hospital stewards and non-combatants during the American Civil War. In addition, the Caduceus continues to be used as a symbol of military medicine today.”

“The colors used in the logo represent the two sides of the war: blue for the Union and gray for the Confederacy. The red represents the most common color used to denote a field hospital for both Union and Confederate armies. Red also symbolizes the blood spilled by both sides of the conflict. The three stars represent the three locations managed by the National Museum of Civil War Medicine.”

It’s a fascinating combination of symbolism with many historic roots!

1 Response to Saving History Saturday: A New Logo for the Medical Museum

  1. What does it mean? Or represent. The new logo, while representing the medical field is unrecognizable as a Civil War icon. In the future, it must be accompanied by lengthy explanation in order to identify the new ‘woke’ image, that in no true way represents the American Civil War. It would make a nice patch on the shoulder of a comic book action hero, however. They just had to get rid of the Southern Cross! The words, “Divided by Conflict, United by Compassion”, below the flags, previously, said it all.

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