Minnesota unveils new, non-racist state flag, joins Utah, Mississippi, Michigan, Illinois in redesigning flags

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By Carina

This spring, Minnesota anticipates the unveiling of its new official flag, signaling a departure from its previous design that depicted a Native American figure, criticized by some as racist. 

In a move reflecting the state’s North Star motto, a committee, with community input, chose a design in December featuring two blue shapes with a white eight-pointed North Star. 

Minnesota Flag — Stock Photo, Image
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Minnesota unveils new flag design and seal set for May 11 debut

Pending legislative approval, the new flag, and a revamped state seal are poised to become official on May 11.

The new design incorporates a dark blue shape resembling Minnesota on the left, while the light blue field on the right symbolizes the state’s numerous lakes.

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Meaning behind Minnesota’s new flag design

 This field hosts a prominent white North Star, representing unity and Minnesota’s iconic geography. The selection process involved the assessment of over 2,600 proposals, with the final design originating from Andrew Prekker, 24, of Luverne. 

While the light blue section’s interpretation varies, it may evoke the Mississippi River or signify the Dakota name for Minnesota, “where the water meets the sky.”

Varied reactions to Minnesota’s new flag design

Despite its symbolic depth, the new flag was criticized for being dull or unnecessary. Proponents, however, express optimism, hoping the design will resonate positively over time. 

A notable response to the redesign includes Indigenous graphic designer T-shirts featuring the new flag and the statement, “At least the flag isn’t racist anymore.”

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Minnesota joins national trend of flag redesigning

Minnesota joins a broader national trend of states reevaluating and redesigning their flags. 

Utah opted for a design featuring a beehive symbolizing prosperity, while Mississippi replaced its Confederate-themed flag with one depicting a magnolia. 

Credit: DepositPhotos

Michigan contemplates simplifying its complex flag, and Illinois and Maine explore potential redesigns, showcasing evolving state identities and values.

Illinois joins trend, explores new state flag designs 

Illinois, in line with this trend, is exploring a new state flag. Gov. JB Pritzker initiated the process, with a flag commission expected to select potential designs by September 2024. 

Pritzker sees this as an opportunity to create a flag that aligns with the state’s values, marking a significant step in Illinois’s 205-year history.

Maine residents advocate for retro flag design

Meanwhile, in Maine, residents seek a return to a retro flag design featuring a simple pine tree and a blue north star. 

Gov. Janet Mills emphasizes the importance of robust public debate before adopting any change, highlighting the democratic decision-making process in shaping the state’s visual identity.

Minnesota’s flag change reflects evolving state symbols trend

As Minnesota embraces its forthcoming flag change, the broader trend of state flags evolving to align with contemporary values and inclusivity becomes evident. 

The redesigns underscore the significance of symbols in reflecting state narratives and the ongoing dialogue surrounding identity and unity. 

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