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More than 5,000 entries for Utah's next state flag unveiled

Posted at 6:02 PM, Jun 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-23 20:02:01-04

MILLCREEK, Utah — Utah's next state flag will come from one of more than 5,700 entries that were received over the past five months.

The Utah Department of Cultural and Community Engagement held an open house on Thursday, allowing their design subcommittee members to get their first glance of all the submissions they received.

"We had submissions from all 29 counties in the state, almost 200 of the 346 zip codes were represented," said David Wicai, Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Utah Department of Cultural and Community Engagement.

Wicai said they originally anticipated only getting around 2,000 to 3,000 submissions.

"We've got everything in these designs," said Wicai.

The current state flag has been around for a little over 100 years. Wicai explained the flag has gone through a few iterations and does represent our state.

However, about one-third of the people in their initial survey, Wicai said, felt they saw themselves represented in the current state flag.

The state legislature passed a bill last year to begin the process to redesign the current state flag, which has been criticized in the past for being both dull and complicated.

Lieutenant Governor Deidre Henderson stopped by to look over the designs.

"I have seen a lot of beehives, I've seen a lot of bees, a lot of mountains, it'll be interesting to see what designs rise to the top," said Lt. Gov. Henderson.

The Lieutenant Governor is the co-chair for the flag task force with Governor Spencer Cox.

"If you look at all of the states in the four corners region, Utah needs to up our game on our, on our flag, our flag is not very memorable and as compared to, you know, Colorado's and Arizona is in New Mexico, so I'm excited to, to join the cool flag club," said Lt. Gov. Henderson.

The Lieutenant Governor says they are looking at how unifying a flag can be and how it can help ultimately identify us at one Utah.

It's something Wicai feels will eventually be found in one the flag entries they received.

"I am very confident that at the end of this process, yes, we will have a state flag that all Utahns can feel a part of that identifies us as a state," said Wicai.

The next step in the review process will be on Friday. Wicai says they'll start to look over all of the designs that were submitted and narrow them down to as few as a hundred.

He says they will put 20 to 30 designs on their website for public feedback in August.

In the fall, Wicai says the legislature will ultimately vote on one of the recommended flag designs put forward by the task force.