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It is official, Southern Miss has a new logo

After being forced to chance its logo, Southern Miss officially has a new logo for all sports teams.

After a process that has taken over a year to complete, the new Southern Miss Golden Eagles logo has has officially gained trademark status by the United States Patent and Trademarking Office (USPTO) after being forced to change its logo designed in 2003 for too many similarities to the Iowa Hawkeyes logo.

Rare Design, the company headed by Southern Miss alum Rodney Richardson has done logo work for the New Orleans Pelicans, Florida State Seminoles, Charlotte Hornets and Memphis Grizzlies.

On Wednesday, July 15, Southern Miss Athletics, in conjunction with Barnes and Noble, will be hosting a launch party in celebration of the logo release on the University's Hattiesburg campus. July 15 is the first day that any Southern Miss merchandise with the new logo can be purchased.

This logo will be the 10th different logo for Southern Miss athletics since the adoption of the Golden Eagles nickname for the University. Changes were previously made in 1973 (first logo), 1974, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1989, 1992, and 2003. This current logo change is a result of a 2011 mandate by the USPTO for Southern Miss to change its logo away from the "Profile Eagle" logo chosen in 2003 for all sports programs due to a too similar look to the Iowa Hawkeyes logo.

According to Judge David Bucher, the Administrative Trademark Judge for the USPTO Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, "The overall similarity in appearance of the marks on the goods, particularly in light of the use of identical color schemes, creates virtually identical commercial impressions."

The new logo is similar in many ways to the current sports logo but with a much more streamlined look that incorporates much more black than the current design. The logo was chosen after careful consideration that included Southern Miss alum and fans getting a say in the process.

So Golden Eagle fans, what do you think? Is the logo what you want or is it too streamlined? Do you like the color ratio or would you prefer less black? Are you going to head out and buy new merchandise with the logo as soon as you can or will you wait for it to grow on you?