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Kids pluck arrow from Pilgrims' hat

AMHERST, Mass. -- A class of second-graders is celebrating victory this Thanksgiving now that the state has agreed its highway signs should recall cooperation between Pilgrims and Indians rather than conflict.

Bowing to the children's protests, the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority said Wednesday it had commissioned a new logo to replace the road's present symbol of a Pilgrim hat with an Indian arrow shot through its middle.

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The redesign was spurred by teacher Barbara Skolnick Rothenberg's second-grade class who were studying Miles Standish and the other colonists who stepped from the Mayflower onto Plymouth Rock in 1620.

'I thought it conveyed a message of violence and aggression, with the violence directed towards the Pilgrims,' Rothenberg said.

So the teacher and her 24 students at the Fort River Elementary School staged a letter writing campaign to correct a state symbol they thought was an insult to the Indians.

'We certainly did take that seriously,' said Linda Dailey, deputy spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, which oversees the 135-mile toll road. 'Some people found the logo offensive, and we certainly didn't want it to be offensive.'

A Boston advertising and design agency has agreed to come up with a new logo 'on a pro-bono basis,' Dailey said Wednesday.

Dailey said the new logo should be unveiled sometime in 1990. 'I certainly think the new logo will speak well for Massachusetts,' she said.

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