TULSA, Okla. — It's official - the finalized version of the Union Redhawks logo has been approved by both students and the district's Board of Education.
The student body voted in favor of the logo with 72 percent approval. The Board then unanimously approved of the student-created design which made it the official logo of the district's new mascot.
This comes after a 14-month process to find a new mascot for Union Public Schools.
On Nov. 9, 2020, the Board voted unanimously to discontinue the use of the Union Redskins mascot that had been in place for over 75 years. A year later, they voted unanimously once again to approve the Redhawks as the new official mascot for the school district.
“I am really proud of the work that has been done to take us in this new direction as the Union Redhawks,” said Superintendent Dr. Kirt Hartzler. “This stellar design – by one of our own students – will enable us to soar into the future with a mascot of which we can all be proud.”
Dr. Hartzler continues to say the new logo design does a great job of "capturing Union's spirit of fierceness while aspiring to excellence."
The winning design came from Union High School junior Caiden Morales, who grew up and attended UPS during his entire school career. Morales is largely a self-taught artist.
“What got me thinking about the design was really my dad,” said Morales. “He encouraged me to do some designs on my own and submit them because he wanted the school to have a cool mascot logo"
Morales says he's been drawing since he was a kid. He grew up using pencil and paper designs until he got an iPad about two years ago.
"I was the kid who always draws all over their assignments at school," Morales says. "The iPad has opened a lot of unique opportunities for me. It allows me to paint digitally. I draw pictures that I think are cool and I also enjoy animation, being able to bring things to life.”
It was Morales’ animation work that originally captured the district’s attention, according to Chris Payne, Union’s Chief Communications Officer.
“When Caiden sent me an animation he had created, it totally blew me away. His concept captured the fierceness we were looking for in a new mascot," Payne explains.
Morales is surprised at how things turned out since he wasn't originally planning on submitting a design. He just "wanted to draw something cool" but wasn't expecting the district to really use it. In the end, it's now the new logo design for the entire school district.
Morales believes graphic design may be something he wants to pursue as a career in the future.
“It feels great. It’s a big accomplishment in my life that I never really expected. To think it will be everywhere. It will be on t-shirts. It might even be put on a school building," says Morales. "To think I might be 50 or 40 someday and I will look back and my logo will still be here on a school building. Regardless of what happens, I want it to be a true representation of Union, one that people will really be proud of.”
- Justice for Muskogee mother after joke leads to son’s murder
- DOWNLOAD the 2 News Oklahoma app for alerts
- Three people ejected from vehicle at Hwy. 75 & 76th Street N.
- FOLLOW 2 News Oklahoma on Facebook
- Mother, son in custody in connection with Rogers County homicide
Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere --