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Should Utah’s flag change? Some residents seem to think so

Posted at 6:10 PM, Dec 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-10 22:23:22-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- Apparently, Utah’s flag is an S-O-B, according to our partners at The Salt Lake Tribune.

“Utah's flag is what vexillologists call an SOB. It's a seal on a bedsheet,” said Salt Lake Tribune Government Reporter, Benjamin Wood.

In vexillology, which is the study of flags, there are five basic principles of good design. Simplicity, meaningful symbolism, limited use of colors, no lettering or seals, and distinction from other flags. Utah’s flag violates them all.

“It's very cluttered. It's very hard to distinguish its symbology and imagery from high up on a flagpole. It uses too many colors, uses lettering, numbers and words,” said Wood.

When it comes to good examples we just need to look to our neighbors.

“We actually are surrounded by good flags in Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. These are flags where they’re unlike other flags in the country. They have a limited use of color and a good clean modern design,” said Wood.

Representative Stephen Handy of Layton is hoping to address the flag's shortcomings this legislative session.

“He's looking at creating a review commission. They would look at the state flag and solicit feedback from the public and potentially recommend a change depending on how things go,” said Wood.

Salt Lake City is doing the same. Mayor Jackie Biskupski launched a survey a few weeks ago asking people to send in their opinions and ideas for a new design of its flag.

“We’re seeing a little bit of a flag fever starting in the state,” said Wood.

The question is, do Utahns really care?

“People kind of fall into two camps on this issue. Either they’re familiar with flag design and believe change is needed or they do not see why this is something we should be wasting our time talking about,” said Wood.

If representative Handy's commission is approved this legislative session, they would meet over the summer and make a recommendation to the legislature by 2020.

To learn more, read Wood’s story in the Salt Lake Tribune here.