MADISON, Wis. (AP) – The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, the agency that runs state elections, has a new logo that some say resembles the classic symbol for anarchy.

The agency’s logo is the letter A inside a purple ring. The horizontal line in the A is curved and extends a little past each diagonal leg to the inner edge of the ring.

Some say it looks like the traditional anarchy symbol, which features a white A whose edges extend outside a circle.

Board director Kevin Kennedy said he became aware of the similarity when an employee mentioned it during a review of draft designs. But Kennedy wasn’t overly concerned.

“I think there are significant differences,” he said.

Others saw more of a resemblance – and a touch of irony. Anarchy is the defined as the lawlessness and disorder that arises from a lack or failure of government.

“It being an anarchy sign and the government – there’s definitely irony there,” said Rob Cleveland, who owns Ear Wax Record Shop in Madison and is familiar with the sign often flaunted by punk rockers.

“It’s almost like the joke is on them,” he said of the accountability board.

The board runs elections, monitors campaign finance reports and investigates allegations of ethics violations. It paid a Madison-based design firm $4,900 to create the logo, Kennedy said.

At the Madison InfoShop – a center that distributes anarchist literature – a volunteer who goes by the name Tops found the logo amusing.

“The whole point of anarchism is to hold each and every one of ourselves accountable,” she said. “The fact is the government is not very accountable.”

Kennedy acknowledged the potential for irony but said it’s not entirely inappropriate to draw a link between an oversight board and a condition that results from a lack of oversight.

“Our role is to bring accountability to what could otherwise be anarchy,” he said.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.