2020 was full of deadly surprises: COVID-19, unprecedented wildfires, and a nationwide racial reckoning. The latter led to rebrands for various university halls, snack cakes, and Grammy-winning bands. The Washington Redskins’ name change may be the most well-known, but more than 115 others are in the process of updating their names—or have already done so.
From education to food, drink, and sports, companies in nearly every industry are saying out with the old and offensive and in with new names on the map below.
View Reported Name Changes Due to George Floyd Protests in a full screen map
The map’s name changes come from Wikipedia’s List of name changes due to the George Floyd protests. There are nine categories to group by, the majority of which are education-related. Check out the regions of the world with the most changes, or read on for more information.
The George Flloyd name changes span over 115+ buildings, products, and companies from countries around the world. However, there are some commonalities. The changes can be broken down into the nine categories below:
- Education – 55 name changes
- Geography – 21
- Food and drink – 15
- Industry – 11
- Lodging – 4
- Music – 4
- Government – 3
- Healthcare – 3
- Sports – 3
Let’s take a more in-depth look at a few of these categories, starting with that with the most: education.
The 55 name changes related to education (most of which are buildings: halls, gyms, and the like) include eight from the United Kingdom and 47 in the U.S. Specifically, England makes up seven of the eight, leaving Scotland with the remaining single change. The U.S. state with the most is North Carolina with the following seven changes:
- Hoey Hall Lovill Hall → TBD
- Helms Center → Hawks Athletic Center
- Daniels MS → Oberlin MS
- Burwell Hall → Queens Hall
- Zebulon B. Vance HS → TBD
- Parkwood HS Rebels → TBD
- Hoey Auditorium → University Auditorium
North Carolina isn’t the only Southeastern state with multiple education-related changes. In fact, 21 of the U.S.’s 47 changes (nearly 45%) take place in Southeastern states, which frequently reference Confederates and segregationists. North Carolina is joined by Virginia (with 5 changes), Florida (3), West Virginia (2), Louisiana (2), South Carolina (1), and Alabama’s (1) as you can see on the map when you group by a category like ‘Education.’
Fans of Uncle Ben’s rice should note it’s move towards a new name of Ben’s Original. Consumers who avoided the brand due to the pejorative “uncle” and the packaging’s display of a white-haired Black man in a black bow tie, which is reminiscent of servitude, may now be more inclined to make a purchase. Along with Uncle Ben’s rice, Aunt Jemima breakfast food and 13 other food and drink products are undergoing name changes, including:
- Arabian Joe’s, Baker Josef’s, Josephsbrau, Pilgrim Joe’s, Thai Joe’s, Trader Giotto’s, Trader Jacques’, Trader Joe San, Trader José’s, Trader Ming’s, and various others → Trader Joe’s
- Beso de Negra confectionery → TBD
- Bully Hayes Restaurant → TBD
- Colston Arms pub → Ye olde Pubby Mcdrunkface (temporarily)
- Coon cheese → TBD
- Crazy Horse Beer and Burgers → Lucky Horse Beer and Burgers
- Dixie Brewing Company → TBD
- Eskimo ice lolly → O’Payo
- Eskimo Pie ice cream bar → TBD
- Geechie Boy Mill → TBD
- Redskins and Chicos lollies → TBD
- Sambo’s restaurant → Chad’s
- Zigeunersauce condiment → Paprikasauce Ungarische Art
Notably, the Trader Joe’s change is the only one regardless of category reported before the 2020 racial unrest. Trader Joe’s first announced they would make these changes in July of 2019, though the brand recently changed its stance. Read about it in detail when you sort the map by ‘Food and drink’ on the map. For now, let’s hike the ball into sports territory.
Three name changes are coming to the sports world, the most widely-recognized being the NFL’s Washington Redskins name change.
The American football team has gone by the name since 1933, though attempts to remove what various groups like the National Congress of American Indians consider a racial slur to Native Americans have been underway for decades.
When the George Floyd protests renewed attention to racial justice, a group of 87 shareholders and investors worth $620 billion signed and sent letters to Nike, FedEx, and Pepsi. In the letters, they urged the major sponsors to cut ties with the team and the NFL unless the name was changed. At the same time, retail companies removed team merchandise from stores. In response, on July 23, the Washington Football Team became the new, temporary name. Team rebranding usually takes over a year, so an official replacement will be chosen later.
In addition to the newly dubbed Washington Football Team, Canada’s Edmonton Eskimos football team is now the Edmonton Football Team (temporarily). Finally, the Baseball Writers Association of America’s Kenesaw Mountain Landis Award will no longer reflect the MLB’s first commissioner, Landis, who resisted efforts to integrate both the major and minor leagues.
Make sure to check out the other categories of name changes on the map, like geography. For now, let’s move on to the name changes that have already been completed.
While education, food, and sports name upgrades are all in the works, several have already been enacted. Of course, that means there are still those that are reported but not yet executed (which represents the least progress made) or have a decision pending. Some are supported by one or more officials and are closer to being partially or fully changed. So before you search for Lady A in place of the band Lady Antebellum or The Chicks instead of the Dixie Chicks on Spotify, let’s see which name changes are totally official by sorting the map by the “Date Executed.”
The first protests were reported at the end of May. By the end of the following month, 28 out of the 60 completed changes were complete, the first occurring on June 3rd when Nicholls State University announced P. G. T. Beauregard Hall and Leonidas K. Polk Hall will forevermore be the College of Science and Technology and the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences.
The first change enacted in July took place on the 1st when the Watson School of Biological Sciences was renamed as the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory School of Biological Sciences and the King Leopold Ranges were newly dubbed the Wunaamin Miliwundi Ranges.
Name changes slowed after July, though a few did take place in August. On August 1st, Colorado official’s announced the Stapleton neighborhood will now be called Central Park.
All-in-all, there are 59 TBD name changes to keep an eye out for. Still, there’s plenty you can do while you wait, including making a map of what’s important to you.
Knowing the 60 name changes that were already made and those that are TBD is important for more than navigating maps, supermarket shopping, or buying sports jerseys. This mass rebranding was the result of the 2020 United States racial unrest.
Store information that you find important on a map for easier visualization of trends. For more ways you can utilize BatchGeo to learn about history, see Flashcard Maps: Learn US State Capitals, Flowers, and Birds. Otherwise, to get started making your own map, head to batchgeo.com.