New Minnesota Flag Includes State Outline, Sea of Blue
After months of deliberation and thousands of design ideas, the Minnesota State Emblems Redesign Commission voted Tuesday to accept a new design for the state flag.
The symmetrical design features an outline of the state — albeit a stylized outline — along with a single white star and two shades of blue.
“The beauty about the flag is it’s all pointing to the northern star,” said Luis Fitch, artist and Minnesota State Emblems Redesign Commission Chair. “The same star that we have here in the state Capitol.”
Simplicity in New Design
The commission opted to remove any green from the flag. This was partly to simplify the design and partly to distinguish it from other flags, such as those in Jordan, Somalia and Palestine.
Fitch said that, for him, the blue hues reminded him of the nation’s longest river.
“If you notice when it was shown vertically, I just saw one of the biggest reasons I came to Minnesota, and that’s because of the Mississippi River and what the Mississippi River has done for generations,” Fitch said.
Previously, Fitch hosted an exhibit analyzing the old flag design at North Hennepin Community College.
“It does not represent where we are right now as a state,” Fitch told CCX News in October. “Not just from demographics, but just in general. The state of mind of the community.”
With the new design eliminating any images that may be considered divisive, Fitch said the new flag offers universal appeal.
“If you think about some of the best flags in the world, they’re universal,” he said. “It’s not about if a little kid [can draw it], it’s not about complexity or too many meanings. It’s about all of us rallying behind the simplicity of this flag.”
New Flag to Be Adopted May 11
Meanwhile, Rep. Mike Frieberg (D-Golden Valley) was a sponsor of the bill to redesign the flag. He was a non-voting member of the redesign commission.
“Honestly, it wasn’t what I was expecting the flag to look like,” he said. “It’s a decision I can 100 percent get behind.”
According to Frieberg, the new flag will be adopted on May 11, Minnesota’s Statehood Day, unless the legislature decides to make changes to the design.
Republican Bjorn Olson, also a non-voting member of the commission, questioned the process used to select the new design. He said Minnesotans should have had the opportunity to select a flag design at the ballot box.
Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon said that he tentatively believes the state Constitution does not allow for a flag question on the ballot.
Fitch said he expected the design to spark some degree of controversy.
“Social media is going to go nuts,” he said.
But Fitch hopes the flag gives the next generation an image to rally around.
“I think it’s the younger generations,” he said. “With time, they’re going to fall in love with it.”