In the heated debate surrounding the Confederate Flag, the defense offered by many has been that the symbol isn’t representative of a culture built on slavery and racism but is, instead, a banner representing that Southerners are simply proud of their home, their people and their culture.To tackle the problem, Studio 360, a national public radio program, commissioned a Texas-based design firm to design a new flag to represent the modern South. With a diverse team of designers with ties to both sides of the Mason-Dixon line, 70kft embraced the challenge with an understanding of the importance of their task.
“The South is unique as a region in that it already has an informal definition,” Gus Granger, founding principal of 70kft and a lead creative on the redesign project, said in a conversation with AL.com. The problem is that, obviously, this community that people feel so passionate about “has out of date visual assets to help define its identity.”
Could a new design offer Southerners the chance to embrace Southern pride, without embracing a symbol that hurts others that don’t have the same opinion they do? That sounds the toughest uphill battle since Pickett’s Charge.
Granger said their goal was to “bring a modern visual language into the space for people that want to celebrate their legacy as Southerners,” not by eliminating or ignoring cultural differences but by respecting them.
In an online presentation, 70kft suggests: “the Confederate battle flag is a divisive symbol. Some see family and honor. Some see bigotry and hatred. If we can’t agree on the meaning, we can never be unified by it.”
They say the new flag is representative of “the diverse array of backgrounds, opinions, values and perspectives now found throughout the region create the very fabric of the modern South.”
Critics of the liberal backed ‘new southern flag’ see this as a thinly veiled attempt to force the a liberal agenda on the south.
Late Friday afternoon the Washington Star-News tried to reach Valvoline for comment on the resemblance of the ‘new southern flag’ and the Valvoline logo. Company officials could not be reached for immediate comment.