When we teamed up with the Dallas design firm 70kft in August, we gave them a tough assignment: to come up with a symbol for the South free from the racism and divisiveness of the Confederate battle flag. Led by Gus Granger and Stefan Reddick, the team has been hard at work for the last month researching and designing their new concept.
Kurt Andersen: When we asked listeners for symbol ideas, most suggested things like pineapples or guitars. But your symbol is abstract — why?
Stefan Reddick: We went through several hundred different symbols that could potentially represent the South — everything from magnolia trees to pecan pie, anything and everything. That’s great for one small group, but is that telling the full story of everyone in the South? We didn’t want a mythical idea about what the South used to be, we wanted to look forward to the future.
When we heard from you last week, your design team had split into two groups: a rebel team and a quilt team. Who won?
Gus Granger: Team quilt ended up with the upper hand.
SR: We realized that the quilt worked best for the identity perspective, and the rebel theme became a great advertising moment. So the quilt informs the symbol most directly, but that rebel attitude is still a big part of our design treatment.
Where did the inspiration for the rebel idea come from?
GG: America has been informed by the act of rebellion since its earliest days, not just in the Civil War. And many of our proudest moments of social reform come from people rebelling against the status quo: the Civil Rights Movement, women’s suffrage, the Underground Railroad. All these things required rebelling against convention to help our nation get better.
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