Tisdale, a town in Saskatchewan of just over 3000, has finally decided to change the slogan on their 60-year-old sign from “Land of Rape and Honey” to something that, well, doesn’t suggest sexual assault.
“Rape” is actually another word for rapeseed which has been a huge part of many of the local farmer’s crops for years. But these days rapeseed production has dropped to 1% of the total crops in the area, and honey production has declined too, so the town slogan isn’t really relevant anymore. Not to mention outsiders driving through often take offence to the town claiming they are a “land of rape” because they have no idea what it really means.
“We’re at that point where we need to change it,” said Tisdale’s mayor, Al Jellicoe. He says he receives a couple serious complaints a year from concerned people driving by. “Once you explain, it eases up a bit. But when you're trying to deal internationally or nationally, I don’t want to do that every time we entice a business to the area.”
Earlier this year, the town decided to conduct a survey and let the residents decide what to do about the slogan. Unofficially, opinion had been split with some people wanting to change it and others wanting to keep it because of its historical significance. The survey was open until July, and the results are in.
57% voted in favour of changing the slogan, 36% wanted to continue to live in the land of rape and honey, and 7% were indifferent. So it looks like Tisdale will be changing their slogan, but they still haven’t decided what to change it to.
Mayor Jellicoe said “updating our brand with a focus on our current strengths and local capabilities will help us better convey what our community has to offer to residents, visitors, tourists, and investors.” One of his ideas was a slight adjustment to “Land of Rapeseed and Honey Bees”, but they’re still open to suggestions.