Updated on 12/7/23
A New Seal Has Been Chosen!
As you may know, the current Minnesota flag showcases the official seal of Minnesota, which has caused a lot of backlash over the several years (see article below) invoking the need for change. Before changes to the new flag can be finalized, there needed to be a change in the state seal.The Commissioners had set a deadline to select a new state seal and flag by the end of the year, and part 1 of that mission has been accomplished!
Thousands of design choices for the seal were sent in, and on November 21st, The State Emblem Redesign Commission has narrowed the choices for the Minnesota state flag and seal down to six. On Tuesday, the 5th, members of the Commission voted to move forward with one design for the seal as their top finalist!
The New Design
The design features the state bird (a loon) posed atop waves to represent the state's many lakes. On one side of the loon is wild rice — Minnesota's official grain — and pine trees on the other to represent the states forests. The North Star also appears next to the loon to play off the state motto of "L'Etoile du Nord," the Star of the North.
Small revisions are likely still to come over the coming weeks to solidify the details, but the deadline to choosing a new flag is still set for Janurary 1st, 2024
Originally published on 11/2/23
Did you know that many business owners and individuals in Minnesota do not fly their state flag or really even know what it even looks like in detail? According to some Minnesotans, thats because the flag is rarely seen around the state and locals are urging for a change.
The Current Flag
Currently, the state flag of Minnesota is the official seal on a blue background with its name, which is very similar to several other states' flags. The flag itself dates back to 1957 and the seal was adopted in 1861.
Why the Change?
So why do lawmakers want to change the flag? There are two main reasons. First, some people view the seal as containing racist imagery. It features a white farmer looking up at a Native American riding away on a horse. Critics argue that this depicts white people displacing the Indigenous population of Minnesota.
Second, according to the North American Vexillological Association (NAVA), the flag is poorly designed and was ranked in their top 10 worst state flags of the United States and Canada. Minnesota’s flag also breaks all of NAVA’s five rules of a good flag – keep the design simple, use meaningful symbolism, use a limited number of colors, do not use words or seals, and to make it unique.
Choosing a New Flag
Over the last several weeks, Minnesotans were able to submit hundreds of ideas for the new state flag and state seal to a committee, who will then choose the top 25 of each submission by mid-November. Minnesotans will be able to share their thoughts on those ideas, too.
The final flag design should be announced on Jan. 1, 2024. If the legislature approves the new design, the new flag will be officially flown on May 11, 2024, which is Minnesota’s 166th anniversary of achieving US statehood.