Carleigh Holt/Hotty Toddy Intern
Oxford Mayor Robyn Tannehill spoke to students in the Talbert Fellows program at the UM School of Journalism and New Media on Wednesday, March 3, via Zoom. The Talbert Fellows are an elite cohort of journalism students led by Professor R.J Morgan. Students regularly listen to speakers and create projects to advance their knowledge of their selected majors.
During the meeting, Tannehill described to students the part she played in the design of the new Mississippi state flag. The mayor’s Executive Assistant, Kara Giles, is the artist responsible for the magnolia design that was eventually approved by Mississippi voters in November.
“My client was the state of Mississippi. Mississippi has branded itself as the magnolia state. I wanted to incorporate that,” Giles said.
Giles talked about how each color, symbol and typography was selected for the new flag design.
“I started with the Americana font on the In God We Trust, which had to be on there,” Giles said. “The committee decided to add Micah Whitson’s five-point star at the top that represents the five indigenous peoples of Mississippi. The twenty stars represent that Mississippi is the twentieth state.”
Tannehill said that the process of judging potential flag designs needed to happen quickly in order to get them on ballots in time for Mississippians to vote on them.
“It was a true honor to serve on the flag commission,” said Tannehill, who noted that over 3,800 designs were sent in for the new state flag. “Everything from notebook paper with crayons to gorgeous professional designs.”