Canadian Town May Have To Change Decades-Old Slogan 'Land of Rape and Honey'

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades

Tisdale, a town in Saskatchewan, Canada, may have to change its "Welcome" sign soon. For more than 60 years, the town’s slogan has been the "Land of Rape and Honey" and its "Welcome" sign has sported the phrase.

In this case, the word “rape” doesn’t refer to sexual assault; it’s a shortened version of rapeseed, a yellow flowering plant that was an important agricultural product for the area. Rapeseed is the precursor for canola and is the second-largest source of vegetable oil on the planet, although now it accounts for less than 1 percent of crop production in the region.

The town’s 3,200 residents will soon be asked in a survey if they want to keep the name or change it. 

"We're at that point where we need to change it,” Al Jellicoe, the town's mayor, told CTV News. He said his office gets a few complaints about the slogan every year and it’s difficult to attract businesses. 

"Once you explain, it eases things up a bit," Jellicoe said. "But when you're trying to deal internationally or nationally -- I don't want to do that every time we entice a business to the area.”

In 1992, the townspeople voted on the slogan. The results were split, so it wasn't changed.

Kim Markwart, owner of a local jewelry store, said she hasn’t met anyone who’s been offended. When she served as president of the Canadian Jewellers Association, she gave out tubs of honey with the town’s slogan on it. 

"Everybody [said] 'Oh, that's rapeseed, canola. OK, we get it,'" she said. "And to this day, everybody remembers me because of the slogan, because of the uniqueness of that."

The survey will run until July.

Sources: USDA, CTV News / Image via CTV News