By STEVEN NALLEY
The Starkville Board of Aldermen approved new seal, logo and flag designs for the city and approved spending $1,500 to purchase 12 flags featuring the logo at its meeting Tuesday night at City Hall.
Versions of the design used for both the logo and flag currently appear on the Starkville Convention and Visitors’ Bureau’s official web site at http://visit.starkville.org/ . The city also previously used a version of the design for a flag in the Mississippi Municipal League’s Parade of Flags at its summer 2011 conference.
Ward 5 Alderman Jeremiah Dumas presented examples to board members with several different versions of the logo. Dumas said the city’s seal, an image of an eagle encircled with the words “City of Starkville” and “State of Mississippi,” would remain the same, except with sharper image quality. What would change, he said, is the city’s current logo, an image of City Hall used in city reports and on the city’s calendar.
“I’m not a graphic designer, but I do know that is not the best logo we could possibly have, especially when we’ve talked so ugly about (City Hall) the way we have over the past year and the need of improvement,” Dumas said.
Dumas said the logo concept came from the same consultants who produced the proposed form-based codes. The consultants produced the logo as part of an effort to improve the city’s branding and marketing, he said, and it will come with a style guide containing suggested uses and the correct colors to use with it.
“This (logo) has been vetted across town, and it was publicized broadly,” Dumas said. “People are using it in earnest, and it was my goal just to bring it forward so that we could have official adoption.”
Dumas said the version of the logo used for the flags would feature white lettering with a maroon background. Unlike the flag used for the MML conference, Dumas said, the 12 flags to be purchased would feature the design on both sides.
Dumas said the flags would appear in the mayor’s office, in the city courtroom, outside City Hall and at all five city fire stations.
“We’d have a uniform look across the city relating to how we brand and market the city,” Dumas said. “As y’all may remember, we had a flag that looked like an Italian flag with ‘The City of Starkville’ written in script. (I’m) not sure where that came from.”
The board accepted both the purchase of the flags and a separate item for acceptance of the seal, logo and flag designs by votes of 4-2, with Ward 6 Alderman Roy A. Perkins and Ward 7 Alderman Henry N. Vaughn voting against both measures. Ward 1 Alderman Ben Carver was absent.
Perkins said he voted against the designs and flags to encourage more cautious use of city funds and further study of alternative designs.
“I just want us to make the best and most informed decision with respect to the matter,” Perkins said. “After choosing our design, then I want to make sure the money that is associated with it is the best expenditure of taxpayer funds.”