Everything You Need to Know About Minnesota’s New State Flag

You may have heard of the Minnesota flag redesign or seen it on a neighbor’s flagpole after it was adopted earlier last month. The new flag design is the culmination of over two years of work and two thousand submissions. It replaced the flag that had been in use since 1983, a variant of the first state flag adopted in 1893. Minnesota’s new flag reflects changes in social values and vexillology, the field of flag design.

When Did the Minnesota Flag Change?

The updated flag of Minnesota was officially adopted on May 11, 2024, after being approved and written into law on December 19, 2023.

Why Was the Minnesota State Flag Redesigned?

The Minnesota state flag was redesigned for two reasons. The first is that since the old flag contained a very intricate state seal, it was difficult to see details at a distance. This made it hard to understand what the flag represented, especially since flags are often viewed from far away.

The second reason is the imagery of the previous state seal. It depicts a Native American man riding a horse toward the west while a white American man plows a field. This is often taken as a reference to the forced removal and relocation of Native Americans as white settlers expanded westwards across North America.

What Does the New Minnesota Flag Represent?

One of the main aspects of the redesigned flag is its stylized representation of the state’s geographic shape, as shown in the dark blue field on the left. The dark blue color also represents the night sky. The light blue field on the right stands for Minnesota’s water, honoring the state’s nickname as the ‘Land of 10,000 Lakes’.

The eight-pointed star symbolizes the North Star, or Polaris, referring to Minnesota’s other nickname as the ‘North Star State.’ Minnesota’s motto, “L’Étolie du Nord,” translates to Star of the North and was chosen by Governor Sibley in 1858. One explanation for his decision is that Minnesota was the northernmost state in the Union when he chose a state motto.

Minnesota flag

Who Designed the New Minnesota Flag?

The new Minnesota state flag was first designed by Andrew Prekker and modified by Minnesota’s State Emblems Redesign Commission. Prekker, 24, hails from the city of Luverne. He was inspired to try redesigning the state flag before the competition was announced and posted one of his ideas online a week before the State Emblems Redesign Commission was formed.

How Was the New Minnesota Flag Design Chosen?

Representatives Mike Freiberg and Peter Fischer proposed a bill to change Minnesota’s flag and seal in March 2022. The selection process did not begin in earnest until May 2023, when the State Emblems Redesign Commission was created.

The Commission first met on September 5th and opened submissions to the public in October. Over two thousand entries were submitted and reviewed on November 21st. Six finalists were chosen at this meeting, and on December 13th, they were narrowed down to three.

On December 15th, the Commission chose the winning design but decided to modify it. The design originally had three white, green, and blue stripes, which were replaced with a solid light blue field. The eight-pointed star initially had four smaller and four more prominent points but was changed to be equal in size.

Where Can I Get the New Minnesota Flag?

Minnesota’s new state flag is now widely available and in production at several flag manufacturers. Our Minnesota flag is proudly made in the USA, and we offer a variety of sizes, from 12” x 18” to 6’ x 10’.

Change is an inevitable part of the symbols people choose to represent themselves, such as state flags. Minnesota’s updated design reflects the overall transition of state flags from their original seals toward more simplified designs, such as Utah’s flag change in March of 2024. Other states are also considering changing their flags, such as Maine, which will include a flag referendum on the upcoming November 5th ballot. Which state flag do you want to see updated next?

Jun 24, 2024 Caeden F.

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