Golden Valley Lawmaker Behind Redesign of Minnesota State Flag
Overlooking Highway 100 in Golden Valley is Minnesota’s state flag.
It depicts the imagery found on the state seal of a farmer working in the field and a Native American on horseback, but it’s not something many would consider as iconic.
“Honestly, not much comes to mind when I think of the current state flag,” said Rep. Mike Freiberg, DFL-Golden Valley.
In fact, Freiberg says the flag is not only boring, but problematic.
“It was designed very deliberately to depict white farmers displacing Native Americans,” Freiberg said. “So it’s just not something that’s distinctive. It’s just not something that…at least I’m proud of.”
It’s one of the reasons why Freiberg sponsored a bill — which passed during this year’s session — to redesign the state flag and state seal by the end of the year.
“Was very excited that it passed,” he said. “I rank it as one of the top accomplishments I’ve had as a legislator because it’s something I think everyone will see and a lot of people are aware of.”
The process of coming up with a new design will now be in the hands of a 13-member task force. Once the members are appointed (which will happen by Aug. 1), they’ll spend the rest of the year coming up with a design that Freiberg hopes will make Minnesotans proud.
“I’m hoping it’ll be a transparent, open process, with lots of opportunities for public comment,” he said. “I think it’s really important to hear from people.”
The website Minnesotans for a Better Flag has more than a dozen designs created by various artists that are likely to be submitted once the public comment period opens.
Whether any of these designs is chosen as the winner remains to be seen. But in Freiberg’s mind, the important thing is that the current flag will be replaced once and for all.
“My hope is that it’ll be a symbol that people are proud of, that people use to identify the state,” he said. “Because I don’t think the current state flag actually does that.”