Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Monday, Dec 05, 2022

'Pheasant' phoenix causes CUHK squawks

The Chinese University of Hong Kong has announced a new emblem as it prepares to mark its 60th anniversary next October.
But the move has led to controversy.

In its fourth design since CUHK was established in 1963, the new emblem's background is no longer gold and purple, with a dual-tone gold and purple phoenix on top.

The new emblem has a gold phoenix on a purple shield, with the school motto "Through learning and temperance to virtue" on a ribbon below. The university said the pure purple background can make the mythical Chinese phoenix "clearer, more distinctive and dynamic."

The phoenix is a bird that is able to rise from the ashes of its predecessor, symbolizing rebirth. In Chinese culture, the bird represents duty, propriety, credibility and mercy.

"Over the past six decades, CUHK has come a long way and is recognized today as a leading comprehensive research university in Asia and the world," said vice-chancellor and president Professor Rocky Tuan Sung-chi. "As we prepare for the advent of our new 'Jiazi' (a 60-year cycle), we have thought carefully with our stakeholders about the journey we have traveled and how we can build on our strong heritage to future-proof the CUHK brand over the decades to come."

The university said it has spent nearly a year listening to the views of more than 200 staff, students, alumni, council members, the public, as well as local, mainland and international partners, for the redesign.

But lawmaker and CUHK council member Edward Lau Kwok-fan said it was disrespectful that the university did not conduct any consultations, saying: "Nobody knows anything about this. I am planning to hold a meeting with the school council."

Changing the emblem would hit a nerve for many people, he added.

Students and netizens said that the new phoenix looks like a pheasant and that the removal of the ribbon with the school motto was an attempt to de-Anglicize the emblem.

Lawmaker Tommy Cheung Yu-yan, another university council member, said he received an invitation to a presentation on the new emblem yesterday.

The move was strange, he said.

"A newspaper wouldn't change its logo, then tell its board members, would it?" he asked, adding that the incident was an indication that the university management was acting "as if the council members are dead."

Bill Tang Ka-piu, a CUHK council member, said he found out about the new emblem only yesterday.

Related Articles

Hong Kong News