Though Herbie Pulgar's winning design was yanked from the Chicago city sticker contest out of the concerns of some that it contained gang imagery, the 15-year-old's "Chicago's Heroes" work will be given a new honor Tuesday when it goes on display at the U.S. Capitol complex.
U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez announced Monday that he had selected the Logan Square teen's design to represent his district in the annual Congressional Art Contest.
"Herbie is a great kid who deserves recognition and praise for this wonderful and positive piece of art," Gutierrez said in a statement. "I think it’s a credit to Herbie and his family that he chose to honor Chicago’s first responders and I’m very proud to have his artwork represent the Fourth Congressional District in Washington, D.C."
Pulgar and his mother will travel to D.C. Tuesday, where they will see the artwork unveiled in addition to meeting Gutierrez and touring the White House and U.S. Capitol.
Pulgar's design will be on display in D.C. through next year.
In February, Pulgar's design, chosen last fall, was scrapped by the city after allegations surfaced on a blog frequently read by Chicago police that the four hands depicted on the sticker referenced gang signs. Jody Weis, former Chicago Police Department superintendent and current president of the Chicago Crime Commission, agreed that the sticker's design was likely gang-related. The boy, his family and his art teacher denied those accusations.
The city proceeded to award the runner-up the $1,000 savings bond and bragging rights in the contest, but the runner-up's family dropped out because they did not want media attention associated with the debacle. Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza paid a $1,000 savings bond to Pulgar out of her own pocket to replace the prize that was taken from him.
The matter attracted the attention of CNN's Anderson Cooper, who addressed the city sticker controversy in his "RidicuList" segment.
"As far as we're concerned, you are a winner, and we're not going to take that back ever," Cooper said in a message for Pulgar.
WATCH Pulgar discuss his artwork last year: