The committee tasked with picking a new Utah flag from thousands of submitted designs has decided on a winner.
The new state flag was selected from a pool of 5,703 designs submitted by Utahns from every county in the state. After narrowing the choices down to 20, the public voted on their favorites until the five seminfinalists were chosen.
The finalist will be sent to the state legislature for approval and a vote in January.
Ellen Weist of the More than a Flag task force said the process of choosing the flag has involved Utahns in a unique, unprecedented way.
“Utah residents have never had the chance to speak out about a flag design before,” she said. From the thousands of resident-submitted designs to the more than 40,000 survey responses, the public have been involved in the process like never before.
“The public built this flag,” Gov. Spencer Cox said. “This is the very best of what you wanted and your ideas coming together.”
Cox said when he imagined the new Utah flag, it was nothing like the final design.
“And that’s okay,” he said, because in a way, the process of coming together to choose the flag represents the best of Utah.
“It’s impossible for 3.3 million of us to get the flag that we want,” Cox said. “That’s not what a society is about, that’s not what our state is about — it’s about us coming together and finding the very best of each of us.”
Utah’s new flag: explained
The final design was pulled from several similar designs, combining the mountain landscape motif, a star to represent the eight Tribal Nations in Utah, and a beehive, as a nod to the state’s nickname, “The Beehive State”.
“This flag, it has components of the past and also aspirations for the future,” state Senator Daniel McCay said.
The current state flag will still be used likely as the governor’s flag or in more ceremonial situations. The task force hopes people will adopt the new flag as their own.
“We can all say this is the flag that Utah created,” state Representative Elizabeth Weight said.