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Keywords: oak grove | missouri | jackson county |
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image by Blas Delgado Ortiz, 27 January 2001
From Examiner website:
Winning flag design focuses on city`s symbolsDov Gutterman, 16 April 1999
By Forrest Martin
Oak Grove soon will be flying its own city flag, thanks to Aaron Brown, who won a flag design contest the city sponsored.
Shirley Johnson, the alderman who initiated the project said, "All five judges picked this one (Brown`s) entry out of all the others."
Alderman Mike Johnston lauded the flag efforts at a recent Board of Alderman meeting, saying he was impressed with the number of entries -- 125.
"I`ve never tried anything like this before. I`ve never drawn a flag," said Brown. "But I`m an architect by profession and I am used to submitting design ideas."
Brown works for HOK (Hellmuh Obata Kassabaum) Sports Facilities group. He currently is working on designing a 8,300-seat basketball stadium for Tulsa University and has worked on other projects including the RCA Dome in Indiana and the World Arena in Colorado.
Brown, an Oak Grove resident formerly from Independence, said he read about the contest in a recent story in The Blue Springs Examiner and decided to enter.
"I thought it was interesting Independence`s flag was drawn by a St. Mary`s High School student (1969) and I graduated from St. Mary`s High School (1984). Two of its graduates designed city flags," he said.
Brown said he drew the flag design freehand at home the night before the contest ended.
"I started about 10 p.m. and finished about 1 a.m.," he said. "I have more creativity late at night."
He used four colors -- green, white, brown and red. "I wanted something simple and yet very symbolic," he said.
"I remember the Missouri state flag has a circle in the center, so I started with a circle element and thought an oak tree was essential to it.
The tree, with its roots deeply planted, is a symbol of the city`s heritage and past, he said.
"I wanted to jazz it up and put a braided cord around the circle and outlined it in red and put the city of Oak Grove on a scroll, which represents authroity and wisdom," Brown said.
He thought it needed something else. He asked his wife, Karla, to tell him about the city`s background.
She said Oak Grove, where she grew up, was founded around a railroad. "So I drew a dark green band down the center, flanked by two black lines represeting a railroad track," he said. He added two oak leaf silhouettes with the city`s initials.
"I think this (design) got right to the root of what this community is all about and stands for," he said.
His wife was pretty excited when the city called to report he had won.
"I think it was wonderful," she said. "I`m very impressed and very proud of him."
The designer will be invited to participate in a ceremony the first time the flag is raised. The date has yet to be set.