The artist known as St. Francis County President Commissioner Harold Gallaher has revealed an open competition to replace the now internet-famous design he created for the county seal in 2018.
This seal went viral last week, as users on Reddit and Twitter united in gleefully mocking its dense collection of misaligned symbols, text and image types. It features a bald eagle leaning over a fluttering American flag, which doubles as the background for a crossed pickaxe and shovel, in front of which Gallaher managed to find space to cram a county map, a Bible and a cross. .
After her design went viral, Gallaher described her 2018 work on the piece as a “rushed deal” that is “positive proof that I’m not art-inclined.”
Although cluttered, Gallaher’s design used the same elements that appeared on the county’s previous seal. Even amid online mockery, one Reddit user did his own redesign showing how he could still showcase the entire patriotic collection without looking like a clip art project.
At Tuesday night’s meeting of the St. Francis County Commission, Gallaher unveiled the guidelines for the contest — and clarified that entries won’t be limited by seals from the past.
Instead, an anonymous panel of seven judges will make the selection. The winner will receive a $100 Visa gift card, although commissioners were quick to clarify that the money was donated and not from taxpayers.
As for Gallaher, he seems to have taken it all in stride. At Tuesday’s meeting, he said he had received emails about the seal from as far away as Australia and added that he had spent an hour on Monday being interviewed by the Washington Post.
“She was asking me, ‘Why did you choose that on your seal?’ and I was like, ‘I don’t know,'” he laughed. “I have fun with the emails. People are very polite and very nice. It’s fun what’s going on. I appreciate that.”
As posted by the online daily diary, the contest rules do not include any requirement to reuse components of the existing design. Entries must be accompanied by a signed legal release and drawings must be submitted in color and black and white. The county “reserves the right to make changes as needed.”
Still, with viral fame already in play, Gallaher expressed some concern about the content of the new models. He stressed that the seven judges would be responsible for “checking and making sure there are no hidden messages”, and advised: “They should get the magnifying glass out”.
The contest is hosted on the Daily Journal website. Learn more about entering your design at dailyjournalonline.com/contests and search for the St. Francis County Seal Design Contest.
Follow Danny Wicentowski on Twitter at @D_Towski. Email the author at [email protected]
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