INSIDE SOURCES

Is it time for Utah to upgrade the state flag?

Dec 29, 2021, 4:24 PM | Updated: 4:25 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)

SALT LAKE CITY — Is it time for Utah to create a new and better state flag for a new century?

Rep. Stephen Handy (R-Layton) joins Inside Sources guest host Greg Skordas to talk about the process of redesigning a new Utah state flag and what that new banner would look like.

Skordas also said the Utah State Flag Task Force met on Dec. 13 to discuss details regarding the launch of the “More Than a Flag” campaign, of which Handy is a member.

“It’s not very interesting; it’s not very sexy,” said Skordas of the Utah state flag.

Handy agreed, saying: “It’s there.”

The design of the seal was adopted in 1850 by the Territory of Utah and modified by the artist Harry Edwards when Utah became a state in 1896. He added a bald eagle and crossed U.S. flags to indicate the protection of the United States and Utah’s loyalty to the nation, according to Britannica.

The commemorative flag

“I noticed not long ago that there was a commemorative flag that was flying at the [Utah] Capitol. Much more interesting concept, maybe something that we can look forward to,” Skordas said.

“I’ve had many people talk to me and say, as they drive by, ‘Oh, I get it,” Handy said. “Now you can actually see that flag.

“The Utah state flag, you have no idea what it is from a distance. It’s got too much going on,” Handy said.

The Utah commemorative flag.

“I don’t want to destroy or take away anything from our great history. . . But I think we could have a marvelous update that is more reflective and more representative of Utah today,” Handy said. “As we kick this thing off, we’ll be able to tell people how they can get involved and do submissions.”

He said the five design principles are:

  1. Keep it simple. Create a design that anyone can draw from memory.
  2. Use meaningful symbolism. Images, colors should relate to symbols.
  3. Use basic colors. Draw from the standard-color set.
  4. No lettering or seals. Writing can’t be read at a distance.
  5. Be distinctive. What would make Utah’s flag stand out?

The Texas state flag.

An example of a well-designed state flag is Texas, Handy said, which uses the familiar red, white and blue colors of the US flag and highlights one white star on a blue block to symbolize the Lone Star State nickname.

Handy pointed out that Utah is becoming more diverse and younger.

“I can tell you with our median age of about 29 or 30, younger Utahns don’t really relate to this 1911, 1913 flag. They want something a little bit more representative, a little bit hipper.

“The [Utah] Jazz . . . rebrand themselves all the time. And so there’s nothing that says that a state can’t rebrand itself,” Handy said.

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Beginning January 19th, send us your flag design ideas. We invite everyone to submit flag designs to help us identify resonant themes and colors.

More Than a Flag


 

Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson can be heard weekdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app. 

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Is it time for Utah to upgrade the state flag?