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A fine flag design

Cardinals, dogwood, blue crabs, a sunrise in the mountains, a beautiful day at the beach, the tiger swallowtail butterfly and, of course, peanuts — it doesn’t get any more Virginia than that.

Those are all of the symbols that Emery McGee, a fourth-grade student at Kilby Shores Elementary School, chose to include in her entry for the 2021 Virginia Flag Design contest.

It certainly paid off — Emery won first place in the state for her entry and represented Virginia, and by extension our beautiful city of Suffolk, for the National Art Education Association Annual Contention earlier this month for Youth Art Month. It was a virtual convention, so Emery’s drawing appeared on the screen.

Emery is a student of Angie Salerno, a longtime art teacher at Kilby Shores. Salerno has been encouraging students to enter the contest during her entire career, but this is the first year one of her students has won.

Emery said she enjoyed making the puzzle pieces that connected everything on her flag — a nod to this year’s theme, “Art Connects Us” — and enjoyed making the cardinal.

“I am so excited for a student to represent our state,” Salerno said. “I was so excited when she turned it in. Just holding it, I knew it was special.”

Salerno indeed has an eye for what makes a special work of art, and we can’t wait to see what Emery does with her artistic talent in the future. We extend our congratulations to Emery for her fine flag design.