Lawmaker calls for a new Utah state flag

Dec 13, 2018, 2:17 PM
Utah State Flag...
File photo of a 1922 Utah State flag at the Utah State Historical Society. (Photo: Stuart Johnson, Deseret News)
(Photo: Stuart Johnson, Deseret News)

The Utah state flag has been called a “seal on a bedsheet”, a “big blob on a blue background”, and nothing short of a “mess.” And now, one lawmaker says it’s time to get rid of it.

State Rep. Steve Handy has announced his plans to push a bill that would replace the Utah state flag with a new, simpler design. If his bill passes, our state may see a new flag flying over the Utah State Capitol Building by 2020.

A mess of a flag

The history of the Utah State Flag

A display at the Utah State Capitol describing the evolution of the Flag of Utah. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

“It really is a mess,” Handy says. “They’ve thrown everything in there but the kitchen sink.”

The current flag shows a bald eagle perched over the state seal: a beehive surrounded with sego lilies with the words “industry” above and “Utah” below. American flags burst from each side of the seal, and while the dates 1847, the year the pioneers first entered Salt Lake Valley, and 1896, the year Utah was admitted to statehood, have both squeezed their way into the design.

That’s a lot going on for just one flag, critics say.

Handy is hardly the first people to complain about it. In the past, Ted Kaye, author of “Good Flag, Bad Flag”, has vocally criticized our state flag, calling it “a big blob on a blue background.”

And, in 2001, a NAVA survey ranked our flag one of the worst in North America, putting it in 58th place out of 72 states and provinces.

An entire organization called the Utah Flag Group has even been created that does nothing but lobby for a new state flag. Like its other critics, their director, Joseph Shelton, calls the Utah state flag cluttered, saying:

“A proper flag should have simple, yet meaningful symbols that are visible even from a distance,” the organization says. “Our flag today that flies over buildings throughout the state does not serve its purpose.”

Shelton was one of the people who convinced Handy to push a bill to create a new flag. Handy, however, says that he wasn’t the only person he heard complain. He says that he decided to push his bill after he heard his constituents criticize it.

If Handy’s bill passes, a commission will be created that will take and review submissions for a new Utah state flag. The commission will put through a recommendation before the end of 2019.

Dave & Dujanovic’s Utah state flag

Dave & Dujanovic's Utah State Flag

Dave & Dujanovic threw their hats in the ring for a new Utah state flag with this design.

KSL Newsradio’s Dave & Dujanovic, with the help of their Digital team, have put together their own design for a new state flag

Our listeners called in to let us know what they thought, and if you hate our design as much as they did, you’ll love hearing them tear into every last thing we did wrong:

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon on KSL Newsradio. Users can find the show on the KSL Newsradio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.

Listen on Apple PodcastsListen on Google Play Music

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team. here.

Today’s Top Stories

Dave & Dujanovic

WNBA star Brittney Griner stood in front of a Russian court Wednesday after being detained for poss...
Curt Gresseth

Two Utah experts talk about prisoner swap for WNBA player Brittney Griner

Two Utah educators discuss prisoner swap for WNBA Brittney Griner.
1 day ago
people are pictured at city creek, shopping habits can be indicative of financial infidelity...
Samantha Herrera

Identifying financial infidelity and learning how to curb it

Some signs of financial infidelity are if you feel like you're spending behind your partner's back and if it's a recurring pattern.
1 day ago
KSL NewsRadio's Dave & Dujanovic discuss how to deal with and overcome seasonal depression....
Mark Jones

How to deal with and overcome seasonal depression

KSL NewsRadio's Dave & Dujanovic discuss how to deal with and overcome seasonal depression.
2 days ago
The world's largest active volcano is shooting fountains of lava more than 100 feet high and sendin...
Curt Gresseth

Watch out for lava glass near erupting volcano, says U. of U. geologist

Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano is still spewing lava and shows no sign of stopping. A University of Utah seismologist discusses a phenomenon called lava glass.
2 days ago
Samantha Herrera

Increased shoplifting puts pressure on retailers and raises prices

Shoplifting is hitting retailers hard this season. Though retailers lose millions in stolen merchandise, offenders usually go without much punishment.
2 days ago
Elizabeth Weiler

Financial infidelity: What does the Utah data look like?

The average Utahn would 'reconsider their relationship' if their partner spent $5k without consulting them first, reveals research from coupon birds.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Lawmaker calls for a new Utah state flag