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Here is the finalist for a new Utah state flag

courtesy State of Utah
Department of Cultural & Community Engagement
The finalized design that the state task force agreed to send to the Utah Legislature for a vote in 2023. Two of the public's favorite designs, along with a reworked 8-pointed star, were merged into the final design.

The final proposed design for a new Utah state flag is here.

The Gov. Spencer Cox-chaired More Than a Flag task force unanimously voted on the design during a Nov. 10 meeting.

The group received more than 5,700 designs from the public and more than 44,000 responses to a public survey. With the help of six committees, 20 finalists were selected for public feedback. The design committee took elements from another round of five finalists to produce the chosen banner.

The proposed flag is a dark blue sky background — a white outline of five mountain peaks — and a red band representing Utah’s red rock country. The center is a hexagon enclosing a gold beehive with an eight-pointed white star below it representing Utah’s tribal nations. It’s based on the Native “hope star.”

Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson, who was on the task force along with the governor, said she’s heard some feedback that the beehive shouldn’t be above the star. But Henderson sees the symbolism differently.

"To me, that star is the foundation," she said of one of the prominent design tweaks that went into the final design. "It's the first thing that everything else is built on. And that symbol of hope is a symbol to a lot of people … people who lived here before the pioneers and early settlers."

Others heard criticism of the whole idea of a flag redesign. Sen. Jake Anderegg, R-Lehi, said one constituent complained it smacked of cancel culture.

Anderegg, who chairs the International Relations and Trade Committee for the Senate, disagreed.

“Right now our state flag is indistinguishable at a distance from about 38 others,” he said. “I'm looking not to cancel our old flag. We'll still keep it ceremonially … But I want this to be seen at the airport 200 yards away and people look and go, ‘There's Utah.’”

Many of the task force members expressed the hope that the new symbolism would reflect the diverse communities of the state.

“Let this be something that we can all grow together and be unified,” said Sen. Dan McCay, R-Riverton. “One of the vexillologists said a key to knowing that you have a great flag is not that it is a flag that has a little piece of everything for everyone. It is a flag that everyone can look at and see themselves in.”

The design now goes to the State Legislature for approval. It will be formally proposed in a November session of the Economic Development Workforce Services Interim Committee. McCay said it will then be voted on at the beginning of the General Legislative Session in January.

Elaine is the News Director of the KUER Newsroom
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