Rex celebrates 150 years with anniversary seal

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NEW ORLEANS — Exactly three days from today, Rex, The King of Carnival, will celebrate it’s 150th Anniversary on Mardi Gras 2022.

Designed by Matthew Hales, the Rex Organization’s Royal Lithographer, with assistance from
Rex Historian and former Rex, Dr. Stephen Hales, the anniversary seal contains classic visual
elements, such as the Rex ducal medal at the bottom of the seal, inspired by one worn by Lewis
Salomon, the first King of Carnival.

By including “School of Design” and “Pro Bono Publico,” the special seal honors two important ideals the Rex Organization has continuously worked to bring to life since its founding. The School of Design is the organization’s incorporated name, which reflects its focus on both art and education, as exemplified in the annual parade’s themes and floats recognized as rolling works of art.

“Rex, The King of Carnival, is thrilled to celebrate its 150th anniversary on Mardi Gras 2022, which is 300 days from today,” said Rex Official James J. Reiss, III.

Reiss continued, “This is a milestone event that we look forward to sharing with the city and everyone who loves visiting it. To help signify the importance of this celebration, we are pleased to present a special 150th-anniversary seal. With hopes Mardi Gras 2022 marks New Orleans’ return to parading, the Rex Organization will be a leading part of the effort to encourage residents and visitors alike to enjoy our city’s world-renowned celebration.”

150 years ago, the founders of the Rex Organization chose as its motto ‘Pro Bono Publico,’ for the public good, which is exemplified by the Pro Bono Publico Foundation, that in 2022, will announce it has reached the $10 million mark in philanthropic support for New Orleans’ public school students.

The Rex Organization was founded in the days leading up to Mardi Gras 1872. In that inaugural year, Rex gave New Orleans its first organized, daytime parade and a king to not only lead the procession but also to reign over the entire Carnival, establishing Rex as the King of Carnival, a tradition that has thrived for 150 years.

Through its leadership efforts to promote New Orleans as a destination for visitors to enjoy Carnival, the Rex Organization became an early, de facto travel promotion agency of the city, an unofficial predecessor to the modern-day New Orleans & Company.

As New Orleans looks forward with great anticipation to its upcoming Carnival season, which will hopefully bring hundreds of thousands of visitors back to our city’s streets, the School of Design plans to continue its leadership effort to encourage tourism to Rex’s Capital City, just as it has done since its earliest days.

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