THERE was anger in Newport yesterday when the new Nato summit logo was revealed – not containing the city’s name.
Instead the bilingual English/French logo featured Nato Summit Wales.
The Transporter Bridge did make it onto the logo for the largest diplomatic event ever to be held in the UK, however, it sits beneath the heading: “The Wales Summit” despite it being held at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport, in September this year.
The design, which was launched in Brussels yesterday, also features a Celtic knot, a dragon and Cardiff Castle. In past years the summit has always taken the name of its host city, whether it be Chicago, Lisbon, Istanbul or London.
Labour councillor Miqdad Al-Nuaimi vented his frustration online yesterday, calling on people’s support to use ‘Nato Summit Newport’.
Mr Al-Nuaimi said: “I’m not happy about it. I really don’t understand. Wales is not a city so why call it Nato Summit Wales? Why have we allowed that? Why have we not spoken against that?
“I think the people who should have spoken are those like the first minister. If it was in Cardiff or Swansea I’m sure [the city] would have been there. It’s almost like we are ashamed to put Newport, but that’s exactly what we want to push through this event.
“It’s going to come and go and after the event we’ll say ‘what were the benefits?’ It’s up to us now. This is Nato Summit Newport.”
Owain Vaughan, who lives in Newport, said: “Disgraceful. This is the Newport summit, not the Wales summit. The only identifying feature is a tiny stylised icon shoved in the bottom right corner. Every other summit has been named after the city in which it is hosted.”
In recent years logos for Nato summits in Riga, Budapest and Chicago have all featured the host city’s name, rather than that of the host country.
Welsh Secretary David Jones said: “It is important the whole of Wales should benefit.”
He said it was “unlikely” Newport could be sidelined “given that it is being held in Newport”.
Stephen Reynolds, from Malpas, is a stallholder in Newport market. He said: “It’s sickening they haven’t even bothered to name Newport. It always seems when events are put on in Newport we get disregarded. It’s the same as the Ryder Cup.
“We are the ones who are going to be put out and we’re not getting any benefits. It seems like an anti-Newport sentiment. If that’s the attitude, I’d rather not have it here.”
Cllr Chris Evans said: “The council, businesses and the people of Newport have to use [NATO] as an opportunity to showcase our city and show that we are bigger than any logo.”
Newport council leader Cllr Bob Bright said he had fought to get the Transporter Bridge on the logo, and added: “At the highest levels of government I have called for the City of Newport to be promoted whenever and wherever possible.”
William Hague, UK foreign secretary, said the bridge was “one of the iconic symbols of Newport”. He said he wanted Wales to have its event, like Scotland has the Commonwealth Games, England had the Olympics and Northern Ireland the G8.