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   Bernardino

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Columbia Fireflies 5

Notice: All logos on this page are included within the parameters of 17 U.S.C. § 107, which states that the reproduction of a copyrighted work for purposes of criticism and/or comment is not an infringement of copyright. No challenge to the copyrights of these logos is intended by their inclusion here.
Posted 2022 August 21

I know some readers are wondering why a place in Columbia is calling their team the fireflies. Don't they call those things "lightning bugs" in the South instead of "fireflies"? Short answer: No.

Long answer: A lot of people seem to have this idea that Northerners say "firefly" and southerners say "lightning bug", but this is completely wrong. It's the West, not the North, that uses "firefly" exclusively. The rest of the country is a patchwork of places that either use "lightning bug" exclusively or use both (and I don't mean some individuals use one and some the other, I mean most individuals switch back and forth). As for which areas are which, it's too messy to describe. Suffice it to say that it only counts as a North/South thing if you think New York and Texas are both part of the North while Ohio and Tennessee are both part of the South.

This sort of thing — both the linguistic variations from region to region and the widespread misconceptions people have about such things — fascinate me. In an early draft of this review, I went on for several paragraphs about such things, including a paragraph-long rant about a meme that divided the U.S. into Iggy Pop fans and Iggy Soda fans, and how the joke was ruined by the person who made it not knowing what parts of the country say "soda" or "pop" (or neither). In the end I remembered that this sort of thing may be fascinating to me but normal people aren't nearly so interested, so I deleted those paragraphs. You're welcome.

Anyway, Columbia, South Carolina is firmly in "use both" territory. So calling the team the Fireflies makes sense.

Or at least calling them the Fireflies rather than Lightning Bugs makes sense. But does it make sense to name a team after this insect in the first place? That's a matter of opinion, obviously, but baseball fans seem to think the ability to fly makes non-intimidating birds such as orioles and canaries reasonable creatures to name teams after. Fireflies not only can fly, they can light up their ass. That's a much rarer ability than the ability to fly.

Also, there's a geographic tie-in. Yes, fireflies are found all over the country (all over the world, in fact), but Columbia is only about a half-hour drive from Congaree National Park, which is famous for having a particular species of firefly whose males flash in unison. I've never been to Congaree, but I've watched videos of it, and...well, truth be told, the videos aren't that impressive. This happens at night, of course, so the video is basically a black screen and then suddenly a dozen or so yellow spots appear for half a second. I suspect it would be pretty cool if you were actually there, but the videos do leave something to be desired.

Be that as it may, I think the name is pretty good. And the logo is great. For most teams I wouldn't be crazy about the sort of neon, greenish yellow, but of course that's what color fireflies are when they light up. The shape of the firefly may seem a little odd at first, but if you flip it upside-down you'll see that it's a flame. The blue in the logo obviously represents night, and in the background you get a moon, a couple more fireflies, and a Palmetto, which is a nice, subtle reference to the state flag.

I hesitate to call the logo perfect, but I'm not sure how you'd improve it. Maybe if you could find a way to make the firefly more intimidating that would be good. But any attempt to do that would probably just wind up looking ridiculous. Besides, the thing's ass is lit up. What more do you want?

Final Score: 5 points.
Penalties: Scenery, 11 pts.
Bonuses: Local, -6 pts.


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