The Fredericksburg Nationals—FredNats to friends—unveiled a new logo today to augment the new identity they debuted earlier this year. The logo features George Washington’s mother Mary Washington.
“The story of Fredericksburg, Virginia, is not just George Washington chopping down the cherry tree,” said Dan Simon, who created the entire FredNats brand. “His mother is also a big part of the city.” (To that end, Mary Washington University is found in Fredericksburg.)
The fact that a team’s official identity includes a female character in a logo is of note: “As far as I know, this is the only woman depicted as part of the identity of a team,” Simon said. “It’s a secondary logo, yes, but it’s not an alternate identity.”
“In the same way that minor league baseball is about family entertainment—and we usually think about that as ages, from children to grandparents—it’s family entertainment, men and women alike,” Simon said. “I think it’s wonderful that we finally have a logo that speaks to that.”
The new logo complements another secondary logo that features George swinging his famous cherry tree ax like a baseball bat.
“The George one, he’s got his ax/bat cocked and ready to swing, and this artwork was specifically done as a companion to that,” Simon said. “She’s pitching to George. They’re meant to work alone and also together.”
In order for the logos to work together, Mary is pitching lefthanded. We’ll never know if that was historically accurate, because, frankly, that fact and many others about the mother of our first president are hard to know.
“The particular challenge with doing Mary Washington was there’s a lot of uncertainty regarding her, including what she looked like,” Simon said. “There are paintings of Mary Washington, but they’re not portraits, and they’re based on people’s assumptions. If you do research, you’ll find that she looks different in different paintings.”
That did not stop the team from trying to do their best, though.
“We made educated guesses with the help of individuals from the Mary Washington House and other museums,” Simon said. “These are the people who know everything about her that can be known. They were helpful, and it was important to us to get it right.”
For more on the FredNats full brand, see our story on the unveiling here.