As I wrote back in June 2022, the seal of Union County depicts a murder. It shows Revolutionary War-era figure Hannah Caldwell being murdered by a British soldier.

Hannah Caldwell spoke out against King George III and the British government’s policies of taxation without representation, unfair religious laws, and limited public speech. So she’s a hero.

(Or heroine — It’s hard to keep track of what you’re allowed to say in this day and age. But I digress.)

The story goes that a British soldier fired his musket at Hannah as she sheltered inside the parsonage on June 7, 1780.

Courtesy Union County
Courtesy Union County

And of course, as we like to do in the 2020s, it’s time to change history. People don’t like the idea that a murder is depicted on their county seal. And so they whine about it. A lot.

But instead of just being honest and saying that they’re offended by the drawing, they’re instead claiming that the depiction is incorrect because the shooting happened inside the house and on the seal, it shows Hannah outside the house.


The uproar has nothing to do with her position in the drawing. That’s just a ruse. According to a article about the controversy, the Union Township Historical Society said:

“Although she was shot while she was inside the parsonage, the picture is the artist’s dramatization of this significant historical event.”

Maybe you’re oversensitive, easily offended, or a snowflake, but be honest about what you don’t like about the seal.

On the other side are residents who are angry about the change. They are proud of their town and proud of Caldwell and embrace the history surrounding her story, murder, or not, accurately depicted, or not. And you know how this ends. Of course, the county capitulates.

After being in talks about it since 2020, the county has finally decided to make the change. Yesterday New Jersey 101.5's David Matthau reported that the county has decided to give in and make the change.

Their Instagram account details a poll they are taking from residents to choose between two new designs, and some residents are outspoken criticizing the county for making the change even though they promised that one of the designs includes Hannah in it.

According to their Instagram page, you can choose one of the two new designs by visiting their website at or clicking the button on the homepage to cast your vote.

Polls will be open for March 27 to April 4. Of course, not being a resident of Union County, I am not eligible to vote. But if I were, I’d hope for a write-in so I could vote for the original.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

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