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David Kato College winning shield design

Posted on 19 April 2022

It’s time to announce the winner of the David Kato College shield design competition!

The new David Kato College is set to open its doors to students in September this year. Following the announcement of the college name, a student-wide competition was launched to design the college shield which acts as a college logo.  

We received 22 entries in total, all of which were unique and showed a real passion and an understanding of what David Kato represents.

We are delighted to announce that the winners of the competition, with a joint shield design, are Isobel Allen and Leila Pathirana. Isobel is a first year student of Economics and Philosophy, and Leila, a first year student of Philosophy, Politics and Economics. Their entry was accompanied by a very detailed explanation behind all of the elements included in their design: 

  • The shape of the college shield, along with the line weightings, is intentionally organic, to complement the beautiful landscapes and surrounding lake on Campus East, where the David Kato College is situated.
  • The shield displays the Yorkshire rose which represents the respite, safety and ‘home away from home’ Kato was offered by the University of York when his life was threatened in Uganda. 
  • The two green carnations were a symbol popularised by Oscar Wilde to signal that one is a member of the gay community. 
  • Honouring Kato’s heritage, a Ugandan kob and the national animal; the crested crane, are used as they appear on the Ugandan crest of arms, representing Uganda's abundant wildlife.
  • The lambda symbol, sitting at the heart of the crest, and nestled between the kob and the crane, was the officially adopted symbol for gay and lesbian rights in 1974. 
  • The gold banner reading “A luta continua” was a phrase seen on t-shirts worn by the friends and family of David Kato at his funeral. The translation is: “the struggle continues” and is used by activists who are fighting for independence and liberation today.

We would like to thank everyone who submitted an entry, the shortlisting panel were astounded by the effort made and the quality of the designs.