Utah is about to adopt a new flag

Since 2018, the legislature of Utah has been working on creating a new design for the state flag. The lawmakers who initiated the redesign process argue that a new flag will improve the spirit of the Utah community, helping people identify themselves with the state.

Last year, a task force was established after the members of the state’s House of Representatives had lively discussions to revise or completely change the flag. The ongoing redesign process is supervised by the Utah Department of Cultural & Community Engagement (DCCE) and supported by the Office of Governor Spencer Cox.

The project launched under the motto “More Than A Flag” was presented to the public early this year. In April, the Utah people were invited to come up with their own drafts for the flag of the state to be assessed by a special flag committee including flag experts designers, and marketing specialists. The process is currently in the second stage, and the committee has selected 20 drafts from plenty of the proposed versions. Now, they are going to be voted through an online vote.

As the votation will have no restriction by location, everyone around the world will be able to vote, actually. Besides the 20 drafts, a commemorative flag is also presented to select.

Many of the drafts filed this spring include the traditional symbols of Utah: a beehive, an eight-pointed star (or eight stars), the sego lily, and the Delicate Arch. The colors – blue, yellow, orange, red, and white – were predefined by the committee after consultations with the National American Vexillological Association, an organization for flag studies.

After the public feedback is considered, the committee will meet again to select the final design. The specialists may suppose some corrections for the symbols and the colors before three to five versions are finally presented to Utah’s legislature, as scheduled, in December.

Utah is not the only US state that became concerned about its flag, lately. Thus, Mississippi changed its flag in 2020, with a selection process similar to Utah’s. The main purpose in that case, however, was to ditch the Confederate symbolism.

Speaking in general, many don’t feel the symbolism introduced more than a century ago. This fact was unveiled in research that was commissioned by DCCE last year. Among other things, it was another reason that influenced the flag change decision.

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