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Mendenhall submits proposal for new Salt Lake City flag

Mayor Erin Mendenhall submitted a proposal for a new city flag Thursday, submitting the final design to the city council for review. This animation gives an idea of what it would look like. (Salt Lake City Mayor's Office)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Mayor Erin Mendenhall submitted a proposal for a new city flag Thursday, sending the final design to the city council for review. 

The search to create a new city flag began in the spring, with an open call for submissions. After receiving more than 600 proposals, the Salt Lake City Flag Design Committee convened to narrow down the field. 

“This has been a community led initiative from the beginning,” said Chris Wharton, city council chair and member of the design committee. “It was clear that a lot of effort and care went into the submissions and feedback we reviewed. I’m looking forward to the Council seeing the final design and hearing about the process that got us to this point.”

 

Without demographic information for each submission, committee members voted on each design according to these principles:

  • Keep it simple.
  • Use meaningful symbolism.
  • Use two to three basic colors. 
  • No lettering or seals. 
  • Be distinctive.

After the committee narrowed their choices down to eight submissions, the public was asked to vote on the designs based on the same principles. Then, committee members narrowed the pool down to two designs. 

Eventually, the committee decided to combine the two finalists — creating the proposal sent to the city council. 

One of the designs consisted of a stylized honeybee atop a golden honeycomb, centered on two horizontal bands of blue and white — symbolizing the snow, sky, the Great Salt Lake and salt.

The other had a white and golden Sego Lily — an indigenous flower to the area which symbolizes resilience — centered on a triangle. 

The two were combined to create a flag with the Sego Lily positioned in the corner of a rectangle with two horizontal blue and white bands. 

Salt Lake City flag

The final design of the flag combines the two finalists: A Sego Lily flower positioned in the corner of two horizontal bands of blue and white. (Salt Lake City Mayor’s Office)

“We’re in a once-in-a-generation moment of change and there’s no more perfect time for our City to unite under a new symbol that personifies and unites us all,” Mendenhall said. “I believe this is the design that can take us forward, together.”

The flag designers are Salt Lake City locals Arianna Meinking, 18, and Ella Kennedy-Yoon, 17. 

“To me, this experience highlights what it means to live here,” Meinkind said. “If I do my best to try to change the world around me, even in little ways, I can make a difference, and grow into that role.”

The Salt Lake City Council will vote on the final design Oct. 6.