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Prince symbol appears in North Dakota cornfield

Hanson sketched Prince's symbol using nothing but a tractor and a printout from the internet.

Hanson sketched Prince's symbol using nothing but a tractor and a printout from the internet.

Prince's iconic symbol has shown up all over since the singer's untimely death, appearing everywhere from a publicly visible rock face in Red Wing to just under the actress Helen Mirren's collarbone

This one might be our favorite, just for the sheer surprise of its location: Edgeley, North Dakota, population 563. 

One of those 563 is Gene Hanson, a retired farmer with a penchant for carving messages into his field: "Happy Mother's Day," or, recently, "PRAY FOR RAIN." 

Last week he tried something much more challenging, but meaningful, for millions of mourners around the world. Hanson printed off an image of  the unpronounceable, unmistakable "love symbol," long identified with Prince, who died last month at age 57.

"I taped that little sign on the hood of the tractor and just went by that," Hanson told the Grand Forks Herald.

Because crop circles can only be properly admired from above, Hanson, 75, then got in his plane to take a look at his handiwork. The accuracy of his attempt surprised even him.

"I couldn't believe it myself that it turned out so well," Hanson said. "I was probably the most surprised."

As for his own musical tastes, Hanson says he typically leans toward country western — surprised? — but digs Prince's song "Purple Rain." And he understands how the revolutionary musician/singer/songwriter's death is taking its toll on people.

"I guess everyone's a fan of Prince right now, since he passed away," Hanson told the Herald.

True. And just now, a lot of those same people are becoming fans of a 75-year-old retired corn cropper from Edgeley, North Dakota.