The ‘I amsterdam’ piece is pretty iconic and is a telling sign that one of your friends has been travelling around mainland Europe and wants you to know via a Facebook album.

The sign was created to promote a sense of community around the city, but mainly served as something to take a picture in front of in between getting high and… getting high.

However, 14 years after its installation, the sign seems to be personifying the opposite message, as it’s been taken down due to it’s apparent promotion of individualism.

The sign in front of the Rijksmuseum was dubbed ‘individualistic’, ‘opposed progressive values’ and ‘rejected community spirit’, as Dutch city councillor Femke Roosma – member of GroenLinks (Green Left) – had it.

She said:

The message of ‘I Amsterdam’ is that we are all individuals in the city. We want to show something different: diversity, tolerance, solidarity.

Amsterdam alderman for economic affairs, Udo Kock, agreed, saying that he wanted to remove the sign for a while. He continued:

I gladly want to remove them because these letters in Museum Square have become a symbol for mass tourism and the negative effects of it.

So it seems like Kock had different reasons, but the point remains; the sign was apparently problematic.

Frits Huffnagel – the man who came up with the sign in 2004 – isn’t so happy to oblige though, as he says the Greens have got the point of it completely wrong. He explained:

The Greens don’t understand a thing about the campaign. I am part of Amsterdam. As a citizen, because I work there, or as a visitor. That together makes Amsterdam. That everyone wants to belong to it. It is connecting people, you gather people under that slogan.

It’s hard not to agree with Huffnagel since that’s so obviously the point of the sign, but then people don’t really get to choose what message their work stands for once the public decide something about it.

I’m not comparing the two – because that would be ridiculous – but that stupid meme-frog, Pepe, was created as a comic device, however it was soon dropped by its creator when it became a logo for the far right.

Since one of the main reasons people visit Amsterdam is for the weed and they want to be inclusive, maybe the council can put up a massive “WEED” sign, but instead of have it all one colour, have the first two letters in green. So it’s like “We-ed”… “We am weed”… you know?

Give me more time to think about it.

Images via CEN