If you attend an Atlantic university, chances are you recognize the large gold ring with a black “X” in the center worn by alumni of St. Francis Xavier University.
The ring is a source of pride for St. FX grads and a registered trademark of the Antigonish school.
August 29, CBC News reported that St. FX was threatening to sue the retailer Forever 21 for infringing on its ring design.
Like the distinctive St. FX ring, Forever 21’s ring is gold with a large black “X” in the centre. Forever 21 sells the ring in a set. The other ring has an “O” on it, so that the buyer could wear an “X” and an “O” on their fingers.
Leaving aside the blatant cheesiness of the item, the similarity to the X ring was enough for the university to register a complaint. Forever 21 pulled the ring from its Canadian stores on August 30.
“I’m glad that Forever 21 respected the meaning behind the ring and pulled it,” says Kieron Cleveland, 22, a St. FX graduate who comes from a family of St. FX alumni.
“It’s not something that can be replicated. It’s not just a piece of jewelry to me. It represents to me my academic success and personal experience being a part of the St. FX community that’s made me who I am today. It’s something tangible that I’ve earned that binds me to others who’ve shared a St. FX experience.”
The iconic X-ring is the third most recognizable ring in the world, according to the St. FX website, and symbolizes the solidarity of the St. FX community.
“If you fall,” says their website, “a fellow Xaverian is there to pick you up.”