In 1974, the city of Florence, Kentucky, built a water tower near Interstates 75 and 71 and the site of the future Florence Mall, which would open in 1976. The owners of the mall site gave land to the city for the tower with the caveat that it feature the words “Florence Mall” as an advertisement. According to a 1974 article in the Cincinnati Enquirer, the advertisement was illegal because it promoted something that did not yet exist.
To work around that problem, the city painted over the M in Mall and replaced it with a Y-apostrophe. Since then, millions of motorists per year have been driving past the “Florence, Y’all” water tower—which just yesterday culminated in the Florence Freedom, an independent professional baseball team in the Frontier League since 1994, rebranding as the Florence Y’alls.
The team announced the new nickname with a series of folksy explanations, including a color palette that derives directly from the historic water tower.
With the nickname a branding, the team lays claim to Florence being the “world capital of the word y’all,'” proclaiming, “We’re taking ownership of the word. It’s not our team. It’s Y’alls team.”
Also of note, the “alls” in “Y’alls” evokes the shape of the state of Kentucky.
A primary roundel reflects the state seal, cleverly replacing the original pioneer and statesman with a player and umpire.
The Y’alls will make their debut when Frontier League play begins May 14.