Virginia Tourism has responded to recent events in Charlottesville by putting a new twist on its famous ‘Virginia is for Lovers’ tourism slogan, saying that ‘Virginia is for Everyone.’
The city has been the scene of major unrest in recent days as white nationalist protesters, opposed to the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, clashed with counter-demonstrators. One anti-racist protester, 32-year old Heather Heyer, was killed and 19 others injured when a car travelling at high speed rammed into a crowd of counter-demonstrators. Two state troopers also died in a helicopter crash en route to the rally on Saturday.
“Like many Virginians, and others around the country, we were shaken by the events that took place in Charlottesville this past weekend,” Virginia Tourism said in a press release. “Virginia Tourism wants to be a part of the conversation to promote tolerance and inclusion in Virginia instead of the rogue, divisive images and messages displayed a few days ago.”
Virginia Tourism is also bringing back the original logo for the slogan, created in 1969, as a specific response to these recent events, ‘because the message, Virginia is for Lovers, is just as relevant today as it was nearly 50 years ago.’
The tourism board is encouraging its followers on social media to tag, share and spread the word with the hashtag, #standforLOVE. ‘We feel that it is only appropriate to remind the world that we believe the Commonwealth we love is welcoming to everyone.’