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September 24, 2023

Local teen designs 150th anniversary flag

Hollister artist and 2021 San Benito High School alumna McKenna Neff designed the city’s commemorative 150th anniversary flag that will fly over city hall through the end of this year. 

Members of the Hollister Arts and Culture Commission unveiled the flag to the local community at the July 15 Movie Under the Stars event at McCarthy Park. Commission Chair Christina Ross, who teaches art at Hollister High, said the commission put out a call to artists earlier this year to seek sesquicentennial flag designs from local artists. McKenna’s flag was the winning design. Neff titled the flag “No Place Like Home.” 

The design features images of Hollister’s agricultural heritage and pastoral landscape. 

“She doesn’t just represent what Hollister means to her; she also reached out to her community and asked others what Hollister meant to them,” Ross said. “We all thank (Neff) for your creativity and your connection to your community.”

Neff, 18, is a lifelong, fourth-generation resident of Hollister. She currently attends Sacramento State University, where she majors in kinesiology. 

“I am very happy and proud that my art is able to represent this amazing town,” Neff said at the July 15 event. 

In her artist biography that she submitted with her flag design, Neff said in addition to seeking input from her fellow Hollister residents, she drew inspiration from “Images of America, Hollister,” by Joseph M. McMahon and Peter Sonne. She also gave credit to “the unknown artist” who designed the city’s clock tower emblem. 

The 150th anniversary flag will be raised over Hollister City Hall on Aug. 6, the city’s official birthday. It will stay there for the rest of the year. 

A full day of festivities are planned for Aug. 6 in downtown Hollister, starting with a parade at 10am, followed by a time capsule ceremony at 11:30am. The ceremony will take place at Veterans Memorial Building, 649 San Benito Street. 

The time capsule will be filled with various items that represent the City of Hollister, says a press release from the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9242. The time capsule will be opened Aug. 6, 2072. 

Michael Moore
Michael Moore is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor for the Morgan Hill Times, Hollister Free Lance and Gilroy Dispatch since 2008. During that time, he has covered crime, breaking news, local government, education, entertainment and more.

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