The ASRC Logo

In the early 1960s, when ASRC came into being, Vincent Schaefer wanted a symbol that would represent the ASRC and what it was trying to do. Through his years of study of Indian cultures and his friendship with many Indians of the tribes in New York State, he was aware that the Indians, far more than the white man, had an appreciation for the intricate balance between life on earth and the weather. In other words, long before the concepts embodied in ecology and conservation became popular in the public mind, the Indians had woven these concepts into their culture. Since these attitudes were shared by the ASRC, Schaefer felt that an Indian designer might best be able to make a drawing to be used as a symbol for the ASRC on its letterhead.

He approached a friend of his, Ray Fadden, a member of the Mohawk tribe, which is one of the five original tribes of the Iroquois Confederacy. The final design, in color, was done by his son, John Fadden, whose Indian name is Ka-hon-hes. Details of the design are too small to be seen clearly on the letterhead, so it has been reproduced on a larger scale on these pages.

Let’s start at the center and work our way out. Perched atop the semi-circle, which represents the sky dome, is the sun, the center of all life. The line for the sky dome is blue, while the sun is a red circle with a yellow center. Five rays are emanating from the sun. The two hook-like lines, drawn in green and going out horizontally on either side of the sun where it joins the sky dome, show the trees of the Upper World. The sky dome rests on two horizontal lines, representing the earth. Rising up out of the earth and within the sky dome is the green Tree of Peace of the Iroquois Confederacy. Clouds can be seen on either side of the sky dome. To the left is a cloud producing rain and lightning, while to the right the cloud is producing snow.

The clouds, sun, sky, trees, and the earth are all enclosed within the great Circle of Life, which never ends. The circle also symbolizes the Iroquois Confederacy. Within and attached to the Circle of Life are 22 miniature sky domes, each complete with its own sun. All 22 are colored the same as the larger one in the center.

And that, in brief, is the story of the origin of that mystical-looking symbol, or logo, which has been part of the ASRC letterhead for so many years.

Taken from: ASRC Report 1977-78, ASRC-SUNY Publication Number