Deon Mixon on Belle Isle Detroit, MI ©Keith Emmerich

Detroit has been gong thru this amazing change over the last decade. When you walk the streets and shop in the stores you can see and feel the differences. Nothing is perfect and some people don’t see the changes as progress. Or the progress isn’t being directed in the proper places to appease others. You can never win this argument as we all have different opinions. 

Deon Mixon waves flag over Detroit ©Keith Emmerich

As much as I love taking pictures and learning the history of the city. I really love meeting new people, especially creative people on a mission to make changes. I met Deon Mixon who is a young creative on a mission to make a change to the city! I was really impressed with his design of the flag and his passion for why he wanted to change it. What blew me away was how focused and driven he was. The rumor is most of the 16-25 crowd isn’t motivated or driven. You haven’t met Deon Mixon yet! 

Deon Mixon ©Keith Emmerich

I met him at Creative Mornings Detroit and he was the speaker for the morning. Deon and I spent a few minutes talking and we set up a time to do some photos and a little Q&A.

How long have you been designing? 
“I’ve been designing since I got into design in 9th grade. (2009)”

Whom are you influences?
“My influences are God, Marcel Duchamp, Paul Rand, Eddie Opara, and Armin Hoffmann to name a few.”

What inspired you to redesign the flag?
“A 2015 TED Talk by Roman Mars’ about there being a “scourge of bad [US City] flags that must be stopped.” inspired me to look at Detroit’s flag and wanting to change it. The current flag is bad design. Detroiters don’t know we have a flag (need for design consciousness and symbol of pride: flag)

Detroit is rising (renovating, etc) like never before. A new flag can embody that ever-rising agenda. • it’d be a nice cherry on top to elevate the design language of Detroit, esp since Detroit is the only US city to be designated a City of Design by UNESCO”

You have received some criticism for your work. What would you say to them?
“I have nothing much to say to those who cling to the past and bad design: in this case, a flag that’s technically erroneous and conceptually inaccurate. All I can say is the future of Detroit will always be here, so they can move forward with us once they gain understanding and are ready to ascend and leave a dated reality. And that I love them.”

What is your next plan?
“My next plan is to continue to make connections with people who believe in the Detroit Rise (or in a new Detroit flag in general among other new things Detroit needs) and will help me push the initiative. I will especially push this initiative /vision to the youth and get them involved. I am gradually connecting with orgs and platforms to start embracing the Detroit Rise so that it eventually becomes the “People’s Flag of Detroit.” and is widespread throughout the city. We’re not waiting one second om a political body to determine this change.”

How can we view more of your work?
My work can be viewed at All info on the Detroit Rise Flag can be viewed at

Deon Mixon Belle Isle in Detroit, MI ©Keith Emmerich

I ask that all supporters please do 5 things:
1. Sign the petition 
2. Fill out the City Council + Mayor Petition Forms
3. Get a Detroit Rise Flag from
4. Get a Detroit Rise shirt (all profits are being saved to go to local Detroit orgs/ charities)
5. Tell everyone they know who truly loves Detroit and believes in Detroit having a greater future and identity to do #1 – 5

I dont have 400 signatures from “supporters.” I have 400 signatures from BELIEVERS.

Deon Mixon Detroit based graphic designer ©Keith Emmerich