Student group opposes Harvard Law seal, citing slavery ties

AP News
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Posted: Nov 10, 2015 4:11 PM

BOSTON (AP) — Some students at Harvard Law School want it to change its official seal because of its ties to an 18th-century slaveholder.

The seal depicts three bundles of wheat, an image taken from the family crest of Isaac Royall Jr. It's meant to pay tribute to Royall, who left his estate to create the first law professorship at Harvard University but who was a slave trader and owned slaves at his Massachusetts home.

Students opposing the seal say it's a symbol of racism that's proudly displayed on buildings, shirts and other merchandise.

The students organized under the name Royall Must Fall. They say they were inspired by movements at colleges in South Africa and England to remove symbols of colonization.

About 2,000 students attend the suburban Boston law school each year. A school spokeswoman has declined to comment.