By Saskia Ghosh, OK, and Michelle Chung, MA

As a long-standing tradition on the mountain, CONA T-shirts play a huge part in delegation communication and enhancing the Blue Ridge Spirit. Among the many wonderful T-shirts this year, a few stand out for their quirky references and inventive designs.

New York: With the increasing popularity of the Broadway musical Hamilton, many delegations fought to have the best shirt depicting this refreshing, theatrical sensation. However, New York seemed to capture the spirit of CONA and the idea that even today’s youth can make an impact on society with their quote, “Don’t be shocked when your history book mentions me.”

IMG_1932 (1)

New Mexico: In reference to the iconic and popular television show “Breaking Bad”, New Mexico features the same design on their shirts as the logo of the show. To make it CONA themed, the shirts say “Breaking CONA” with corresponding elements just like the actual logo. Relatable to many delegates due to the show’s great following, these shirts are in high demand on the mountain this year.


Minnesota: As lovers of politics, it is obvious that delegates would want Minnesota’s shirt. The back features a reference to the present election “Don’t blame us we voted for Rubio and Bernie.” which alludes to the dislike for the present presidential candidates. Because many delegates share the same views, this T-shirt is both hilarious and popular.


California: Similar to Minnesota’s political design on the presidential race, California delegates poked fun at the interesting yet popular Republican nominee Donald Trump and his extravagant idea to build a wall along the border between their state and Mexico (graciously paid for by the latter). Giving the proposal a score of 5 for feasibility, many other delegates are feeling unbelievably thirsty for this shirt.


Arizona: As a homage to the great and powerful Beyonce, Arizona’s T-shirts feature a spin on one of her famous phrase “Ladies now let’s get in formation.” Instead, the front says “Okay delegates now let’s get in formation.” The back features a map highlighting Arizona with the phrase “You know that state when you cause all this conversation…” Overall, this T-shirt references to a talented artist and a catchy phrase making it quite popular among all the delegations.

CONA shirt #1

While there is a multitude of creativity among shirt designs this year, these shirts stand out the most for their mixture of references to popular culture and inventive designs. The tradition of trading T-shirts is important to create individual connections between delegates and to share cultures between state delegations.