From “cancelling” the statue of Christopher Columbus that stands in front of City Hall to deleting the name of the city, an online petition is calling to change the name of Columbus, Ohio to Flavortown.
Last week, Mayor Andrew J. Ginther said the statue of the city’s namesake, donated to the City of Columbus by the city of Genoa in 1955, was destined for the trash heap of history.
The mayor declared that the statue was a “representation of our ugly past,” and announced plans to replace it with a modern piece of art that better represents the city and its people, according to Columbus FOX affiliate 28.
Flavortown is the fictional utopia and catchphrase of The Food Network’s Guy Fieri, who was born in Columbus in 1968. The name Flavortown would honor Fieri, as well as the city’s diverse culture and cuisines.
As of this morning, 26,850 people had signed the name change petition that was started by Tyler Woodbridge of Murphreesboro, Tenn.
“The new name is twofold. For one, it honors Central Ohio’s proud heritage as a culinary crossroads and one of the nation’s largest test markets for the food industry,” Woodbridge said. “Secondly, cheflebrity Guy Fieri was born in Columbus, so naming the city in honor of him would be superior to its current nomenclature.”
Fieri helped popularize The Thurman Cafe in Columbus; its Thurmanator Burger was touted by the TV chef and launched the heart-attack-waiting-to-happen into a burger challenge.
The burger consists of a bottom bun, mayo, lettuce, tomato, pickle, banana peppers, a 12 ounce burger patty, bacon, cheddar, another 12 ounce burger patty, sautéed mushrooms & onions, ham, mozzarella & American cheese, and top bun, served with fries and a pickle spear. Challengers who can finish eating the four pounds of food will earn a spot on Thurman’s Wall of Fame.
While some viewers might attribute Fieri’s bright yellow hair and flames on his tee shirt as Fieri being struck by lightning and electrocuted while drinking a Mountain Dew, Woodbridge describes him as a charitable man who helped to raise more than $20 million for restaurant workers during the pandemic and has officiated more than 100 LGBTQ weddings.
“That kind of optimism and charitable work embodies more of what Columbus, Ohio, is about rather than the tarnished legacy of Christopher Columbus,” Woodbridge told CNN. He plans to drive to Columbus to deliver the petition to city officials, but it is not known how many names on the petition belong to Columbus residents.
Some Columbus residents feel that in the near future when Guy Fieri is removed from television and Flavortown takes on a racist connotation, the name will again be changed to something bland and inoffensive, effectively relegating Columbus to the trash bin of erased history, and future generations will never know.