The Commanders keep sending mixed messages on whether they're done with old name and logo

Four years ago, the Washington franchise — after former owner Daniel Snyder said he'd NEVER change the team's name and logo — changed the team's name and logo. Now, as the first anniversary of the post-Snyder era approaches, it's still not entirely clear that the organization has dumped the old name and logo.

This isn't about whether the team should use its old name and logo. There's a debate that might never end regarding whether the team should bring back the name and logo. (The logo, for example, became an issue this week in the effort to build a new stadium for the team at the site of RFK Stadium in D.C.) This is about whether the franchise is sending mixed messages about its position on the old name and logo.

Last year, for example, new owner Josh Harris used the abandoned name multiple times when speaking to fans. Limited partner Magic Johnson used the old name on Twitter, too.

Last weekend, coach Dan Quinn wore an unlicensed T-shirt that incorporates a portion of the old logo. The team had no official comment. However, the unofficial comment was that Quinn acted on his own and without knowledge of ownership.

This weekend, the team has posted birthday wishes to former linebacker London Fletcher. Conspicuous in the image is a helmet with the old logo.

(It wouldn't have been hard to post an image of Fletcher without the logo being visible. The Commanders did it on his birthday in 2023. And in 2022. And in 2021. The image used for Fletcher’s birthday in 2018 and in 2017, before the name changed, also was shot from an angle that omitted the old logo.)

If there's a clear organizational commitment under Josh Harris to abandon the old name and logo, all employees would (or should) know about it, from coaches to social-media employees to P.R. representatives to everyone. Memos and emails would be sent instructing everyone to never use the abandoned name or logo.

As it stands, the team under Harris is floating (deliberately or not) in a vague space of plausible deniability. On one hand, they say they're never bringing the name and logo back. On the other hand, the old name and logo haven't been fully and completely erased.

Again, this isn't about whether the team should use its old name and logo. This is about whether the team has made a sufficiently compelling case that the old name and logo are gone for good, or whether it's allowing the aroma to linger just enough for the name and logo to be re-embraced if/when the team ever decides that the positives of doing so would outweigh the blowback.

So which is it? Are the old name and logo gone for good? Or will they periodically make appearances, followed by an organizational declaration of "oops," until the team decides the time is right to bring them back?