There is no shortage in the images that represent Columbia County.
Nautical ropes, acorns, ship masts and the Hudson River - all symbols intertwined in the county's history, especially during the boom of its whaling industry.
"The Hudson River was the main lifeline of this area, before you had roads," said Mary Howell, the county historian for Columbia County, N.Y. "Everything was done on the river. Now it's very much a recreational thing."
Water also plays a central role in the logo for Georgia's Columbia County, which is facing a possible redesign. Instead of a clipper ship rolling up the Hudson, New Horizons shows a sailboat skimming across the lake.
Local county officials have opened up the project to residents, asking for their ideas in the hope of finding inspiration.
The logos of Columbia counties in New York (above), Florida and Washington show historical and progressive aspects of the communities.
Marilyn Heuer, the county's project administrator, said 19 people have submitted their suggestions. The deadline is Friday, and Heuer said she is expecting a last-minute push.
"What we've had has been very interesting," she said. "Each one has something different about it that makes it unique. Most of them are growth and quality-of-life and family oriented - the kinds of things why most people are moving to the county."
When it comes to the symbols for Columbia Counties across the country, the hometown version shares more than just its name.
In Columbia County, Wash., official letterhead show a drawing symbol of the area's main historic site - a recently renovated courthouse that is the oldest operating one in the state.
Appling's courthouse is considered the oldest operating courthouse in Georgia. But Heuer said officials will probably shy away from historic references in the county's new logo.
"We are trying to look forward and not back," she said. "The fact that Columbia County's growing and booming, that seems to be part of our community."
A panel including county commissioners will meet after the deadline to go over the submissions. There is a $1,000 savings bond award for the person who provides the winning concept, which could be refined and turned into the county's new emblem.
Submissions can be faxed to Heuer at 868-3348 or e-mailed to email@example.com.
Columbia County, Ga.
County seat: Appling
Logo details: Adopted 12 years ago, the county's New Horizons logo includes a picture of a boat and sun in reference to Thurmond Lake.
Columbia County, N.Y.: located in east New York, about 40 miles from Albany, N.Y.
County seat: Hudson, N.Y.
Logo details: The clipper ship and stage coach represent settlers who came to this part of New York. The ship also refers to the whaling industry that once thrived in the area.
Columbia County, Florida logo
Columbia County, Fla.: located in north Florida near the Georgia border, about 45 miles from Gainsville, Fla.
County seat: Lake City, Fla.
Logo details: The county's "Gateway to Florida" logo was developed from a contest that solicited ideas from residents.
Columbia County, Wash.: located in southeast corner of state, about 140 miles from Spokane, Wash.
County seat: Dayton, Wash.
Logo details: While it is not often used as a logo, the county's symbol is a picture of its historic courthouse, which was built in 1887 and is the oldest operating courthouse in the state of Washington.
* 2001 U.S. Census estimate
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