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Former WMU student redesigns Detroit city flag, proposes to city council

A former Western Michigan University student redesigned the Detroit city flag for a capstone design project, but the idea is picking up steam after city council members thought it could be a possible change. (Deon Mixon)

A former Western Michigan University student and graduate redesigned the Detroit city flag for a capstone design project, but the idea is picking up steam after city council members thought it could be a possible change.

Deon Mixon said he was inspired after watching a 2016 TED talk by Roman Mars, a designer and design commentator, on the poor design of city flags. Mixon said once he watched the video, the idea of revamping Detroit's own design resonated with him immediately, therefore creating the concept: The Detroit Rise.

"I'm a proud Detroiter and grew up on the east side," Mixon said. "To see Detroit's current flag, it's like, 'no, this has to go." So when I became a senior in college and had to do a design thesis, this was one of my three thesis ideas, and my professors in college loved it."

According to Mixon, there's a story and detail behind each color in the flag: black for resilience, white for righteousness and blue for production.

"The points of the star represent Detroit’s most successful industries: the automotive industry, music, art and design, life science, and high technology, and the white form symbolizes the Detroit River and the city’s motto; it represents a rising from struggles the city endures and a path toward the better things the city hopes for and shall attain," a statement on Mixon's website said.

Mixon's professors may not be the only ones infatuated with the idea, considering Detroit city council members thought the idea might be reasonable to consider in the near future. He presented to the council at a community meeting in Southwest Detroit in June 2017, where councilman Scott Benson and chief of staff Ricardo Silva applauded his efforts and are assisting him with the "next steps."

After a small stint in New York City, Mixon is back in Detroit and determined to follow through on the process of getting the design ushered through the council.

"I've been doing my homework on who I can connect with to get this flag adopted," Mixon said. "I want to see what officials support me and this endeavor and to do a poll for citizens to decide if this would be a good new flag for them."

To see a full layout of Mixon's ideas surrounding the flag, including the full thesis presentation, you can visit his website here.



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