Minnesota initiates redesign of the state flag

Following Mississippi and Utah, which adopted new flags not so long ago, Minnesota is moving toward a new flag design. The rebranding project is still in its early stages. However, two requirements make the Minnesota redesign process especially tough.

According to NY Times, lately more and more US states have taken the decision to change their banners. Mississippi, which did it three years ago, pioneered this trend. Last year, the Utah people voted for a new state flag designed in a simpler manner compared to the previous one. It is to be adopted officially in March 2024.

Now, the Democratic government of Minnesota has enacted that the state’s current flag should be replaced with a new one. The Minnesota banner is being criticized more lately, and many think that its design is not relevant. In particular, critics say it wrongly represents the heritage of Native Americans. The flag, adopted in 1893, actually depicts a naked Indian with a spear in his hand riding a horse across a field worked by a farmer. Both men maintain distant eye contact. In fact, the round picture in the center of the flag is a simplified image of the Great Seal of Minnesota.

Besides the seal, the banner includes other symbolic things for the state: Minnesota’s motto “L’Etoile du Nord” (French for “The Star of the North); landmark years (1819, the year of the establishment of Fort Snelling; 1859, the year when Minnesota joined the Union; 1893, the year of the adoption of the flag); and nineteen gold stars, symbolizing that Minnesota was the 19th state to join the Union after the 13 original states.

Both the flag and the seal are currently being revised in the course of the redesign process. The project in Minnesota is particularly challenging because the results are scheduled to be presented at the beginning of January 2024. The new national emblems are expected to be adopted as early as May 2024. For comparison, in Utah, the transition to a new flag took around two years.

The process is organized by a 19-member commission, the State Emblems Redesign Commission, which met for its first meeting a few days ago. The weekly meetings are public and can be followed via Zoom.