The Bald Eagle has played a graphical role in the lives of Americans since 1782, when the Great Seal of the United States was adopted. It plays the dual role of being both the country's national bird and its national animal, and is an element in countless corporate and institutional logos. Which is fine until versions within a particular domain are deemed to be too close for comfort.
This happened recently, when the US Patent and Trademark Office ruled that the logo employed since 2003 by the Southern Miss Golden Eagles was confusingly similar to that employed by the University of Iowa, shown at right. Looks more like a parrot to me. You can decide for yourself on the degree of resemblance by checking out the 2003 Mississippi bird below.
In any case, the University of Southern Mississippi had no choice but to go back to the drawing board. In this it was wise to consult with the designer of the current version, RARE Design, which came up with two new variations. shown above, which differed only in their treatment of the bird's eye. To build community buy-in, Golden Eagles fans were invited to visit a mini-site, which allowed them to vote on their favorite. It would seem they went massively for the "Traditional" version, which showed excellent judgment. The university has subsequently begun the process of trademark registration and expects to release the new logo for licensing in 2015.