Sheriff-elect Brent Campbell met with Howell County Commissioners this week to propose a new coat of arms and seal to be adopted to replace the county’s current logo.
The seal, which shares similarities with the Great Seal of Missouri, was created by Campbell and his friend U.S. Army First Sgt. Jason McDaniel, an officer with the West Plains police who is on active military duty.
Campbell told commissioners he plans to change the Howell County Sheriff's badge and seal to the proposed design, and suggested it would be a good idea to have all county offices using the same seal, with each different county office having its name at the bottom of the seal.
“I think this is a great way for us to show we’re united,” Campbell said. “It has symbolism which represents the entire county.”
He explained many counties in Missouri are adopting similar seals with their county offices and he wants to bring that idea home.
Presiding Commissioner Mark Collins and Southern District Commissioner Billy Sexton read the description of the seal and coat of arms and looked at the design Campbell had printed off for them. However, since Northern District Commissioner Bill Lovelace was absent for the meeting, Collins and Sexton didn’t want to make a decision on adopting the seal without him.
Collins told Campbell he thinks it is a nice seal, but he doesn't see any reason to change the county’s current logo which was adopted when Rolland “Pig” Paul was the presiding county commissioner. Paul served in that role from 1994 to 1998.
“We’ve have had that design for a long time, since before I started,” Collins said. “I don’t really see any reason to change it right now.”
Campbell told the commissioners he would try to present it again when all three commissioners are present.
“The cost to the county to adopt the new seal is very minimal,” Campbell told the Quill on Friday. “I think it’s a good design and a positive representation for the future of the county.”
In the description of the coat of arms, Campbell explained what its symbols mean.
It prominently features two black bears, similar to those on the state seal, holding an escutcheon, a decorative shield bearing the coat of arms.
Within the shield are four symbols: At the top left is a handheld torch symbolizing a unified county being the standard bearers in providing light while navigating the future with a fair and impartial approach to the community, according to Campbell.
In the shield's other three quadrants are an eagle, bear paw print and lighting bolt, which represent each major city in the county, Mtn. View, Willow Springs and West Plains, respectively.
In the shield's center is 1857, the year Howell County was first organized. The shield is colored in black and gold to symbolize the bedrock of the county, Campbell explained.
Below the shield is the slogan “Leading By Example,” flanked on both sides by two oak leaves. Campbell said he feels the new slogan will show that the county strives to lead by example in being "forever productive and forever beautiful for future generations."
According to him, the oak leaves denote the most prominent tree in Missouri and symbolizes strength, morale, resistance and knowledge.
Campbell said even if the county commission doesn’t accept the seal design for the county offices, he still plans have the new seal ready for the sheriff’s department when he takes office in January 2021.