Sep 9, 2022 - News

Utah's proposed state flag designs prompt derision, pleasure, debate

A photoshopped mockup of a proposed Utah state flag design shows delicate arch as chaps worn by a cartoon cowboy. The attached Tweet reads: "Howdy. I’m the sheriff of vexillology. #utahflag"
Utah Twitter personality Matt Blank adds some flair to a proposed state flag design. Image via Twitter, courtesy Matt Blank.

Delicate Arch? Snowy peaks? More beehives? Those are some of the options among the 20 semi-finalists for Utah's new state flag design.

Driving the news: The state's Flag Task Force unveiled the 20 designs Thursday night.

What they're saying: A LOT. Here are some of the reactions.

A flag shows an orange triangle in front of a taller white triangle, with navy blue backing.
Courtesy State Flag Task Force
  • "Looks too much like Delta for me," tweeted Utah Rep. Andrew Stoddard (D-Sandy).
A flag shows a ring of stars in front of a diagonal cross with blue and red backgrounds.
Courtesy State Flag Task Force
  • "Dollar store Tennessee flag," wrote Salt Lake Tribune reporter Bryan Schott.
A proposed state flag design features a ring, half white and half orange, with a white star in the center.
Courtesy State Flag Task Force
  • "We pick the Poké Ball flag," replied City Cast producer Emily Means.

The big picture: Utah's current flag is considered to be among the nation's worst, according to design principles by the North American Vexillological Association.

  • Many of these designs echo the simplicity of our Four Corners neighbors, whose flags are ranked among the best.

The intrigue: A beehive appears in nearly half of the 20 designs, a nod to the state's nickname and symbolizing "community," "industry" and "prosperity," according to the task force.

Of note: Diagonal crosses in red and blue with stars also raised concerns that the image evokes the Confederate flag and its pro-slavery history.

1 cool thing: Groups of eight stars, or eight-pointed stars appear in most of the designs. Those represent Utah's eight federally-recognized tribal nations.

What's next: The task force expects to select a final design to propose to the legislature in late fall.

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