SALT LAKE CITY — The first 45-star flag that flew over the U.S. Capitol when Utah became a state in 1896 has been donated to the state for preservation.
Lt. Governor Deidre Henderson accepted the flag on behalf of the state at a ceremony on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. It was donated by the family of Jan Benson.
"It really didn’t belong to the Benson family. It belongs to everyone," he told a crowd at the ceremony.
Utah became the 45th state after a number of hurdles, including some significant political differences between the state and the federal government. There was women's suffrage (women were already voting in the territory of Deseret) and polygamy, that was prohibited as a condition of statehood.
The flag will be preserved and hung in the Hall of Governors for visitors to see when they visit the Utah State Capitol.
"What a treasure that now anybody in the state of Utah who wants to can see it," Lt. Gov. Henderson said.