Time to change the stamp – Kingsport updates its official seal

Matthew Lane • Jan 8, 2019 at 8:41 AM

KINGSPORT – Kingsport plans to make a few changes to its official seal. Bays Mountain will now look more realistic, it'll be in black and white (rather than maroon and gold) and the city's modern incorporation date of 1917 has been added.

But what prompted the change? It was time to change the stamp.

City Manager Jeff Fleming said the stamp used to mark official city documents with the seal needed to be replaced and that started a conversation about updating the look of the seal. According to City Clerk Angie Marshall, the last time Kingsport’s seal was changed was in 1991.

Fleming said the changes are being made to bring the seal more in line with Kingsport’s logo.

The new seal provides a more realistic outline of Bays Mountain, which was more stylized in the old seal. The rays of light coming out of the sun are a nod to Kingsport’s original plan of the streets radiating out from Church Circle, Fleming said.

The year “1917” has been added and the three dots around the periphery have been replaced with stars, a nod to the three stars on the Tennessee flag. The old seal was maroon and gold; the new one black and white.

The device used to stamp the seal is essentially an embosser, much like a notary public would use.

Kingsport stamps its seal on some official documents, including proclamations, agreements, commendations and certified copies. It’s not stamped on the vast majority of paperwork that flows through City Hall every day, nor is it used on official letterhead, or on the side of buildings or vehicles.

Which means the cost to switch over to a new seal is nominal — about $150 for a couple of the stamps. Fleming added that the stamps would have to be made special and that the new seal would go into effect July 1 — the start of the new fiscal year in Kingsport.