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New state flag could be decided by voters in 2022

Posted at 10:35 PM, Jul 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-05 12:39:12-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Voters ultimately could decide on a new state flag in 2022, as Governor Spencer Cox and a small board of lawmakers are considering if a new flag is needed, and if so, what it should look like.

“We have a very complicated flag that people don’t understand,” said Governor Spencer Cox.

“The best flags and the most unifying flags are flags that are unique, flags that are simple,” Cox said, adding “Colorado is a Great example. Arizona, New Mexico, Texas are recognized as great flags.”

Utah isn't the only state reconsidering its flag, as many other states have looked at whether their flags reflect current values and culture.

“Our flag is what they refer to as a ‘SOB’. A seal on a bedsheet. They took the state seal, slapped it on a blue field and called it good, and there are 30 other states that have similar designs," said Colonial Flag Production Manager DeVaughn Simper.

Utah’s seal includes a beehive and eagle, but also has six arrows which represent the six Native American tribes that lived here before the pioneers.

“The symbols that gain the most power and have the most interesting meanings over time, are the ones that allow for a complexity to them. They allow for multiple histories to be told in the symbol itself," said Paisley Rekdal, a professor of literature at the University of Utah, who also thought Utah's landscape should be represented in a new flag.

Governor Cox says rethinking the flag is an effort that will take time, with teachers and historians weighing in on possible designs. If a new design is chosen by the committee he chairs, final approval will be up to the voters.