The second team of the Oxford University Rowing Club will not change its name from Isis after a number of companies have given in to market pressure. A spokesman for the club says the team will not “pander to the hype” and change its name because of the Middle Eastern terrorist group, also known as Islamic State.
The name belongs to the university’s reserve rowing boat and its crew who first officially raced Cambridge in 1965.
Jon Roycroft, the university’s director of sport, told the Daily Telegraph that he would be raising the subject at this month’s boat club committee meeting. “It is a club matter and I will raise it in ‘any other business’,” he said.
“But I would seriously doubt that changing the name of the reserve boat would be considered. It is decades old and is named after the river.
“To change the name would be to pander up to it and would give (the extremists) more publicity than they are worth.”
The name Isis comes from the ancient Egyptian goddess whose name means ‘throne’ and who is depicted with a throne headdress and as the mother of the Egyptian Pharaohs. She is still to this day worshipped by Pagans and there is an interfaith organisation called the ‘Institute of Isis’.
Historically, and especially in Victorian times, cartographers insisted that the river Thames was correctly named the River Isis from its source until the town of Dorchester. Ordnance Survey maps still label the Thames as “River Thames or Isis” until Dorchester.
Various businesses in Oxford especially but also in the areas around the Thames have used the name Isis. This includes Oxford’s Isis Estate Agent whose owner Rowan Waller recently implored national newspapers to start referring to the terror group as Isil. But after claims that links with the jihadi groups, who have murdered western hostages on camera and posted the videos online, he has changed the name of his company to “Wallers of Oxford”.
The rebrand cost him about £3000 in marketing materials and advertising but the risks of loss in business by not changing were considered by him to be greater.
He told the university magazine Oxford Today: “I had to ask myself, would someone thinking about selling their property feel comfortable displaying a board in their front garden with ‘Isis’ written across it when everywhere else the word is associated with beheadings?
“I decided that the answer would be ‘no’ for enough people to make this an easy business decision.”
Another estate agents called Isis based in Surrey said they would not be changing their names. A spokesman told Breitbart London that while they had seen a few people taking photographs of the front of their branches by and large their customers didn’t want to give in to extremists.
And Breitbart London also reported on the chocolate manufacturers who were told by supermarkets that their customers had stopped buying ‘Isis’ chocolate, thinking it was linked to the terrorist group.
But despite fears, it seems that the fate of the Earl of Grantham’s yellow labrador Isis was part of the script long before the rise to prominence of the acronym.