Minnesota Lawmakers Want to Change the State Flag and State Seal
Some at the State Capitol say the time has come to update both the seal and the flag that displays it in multitudes of places. It's been tried many times before, and House Democrats are moving forward with legislation that would create a 14-member commission with diverse membership to study new designs and make a recommendation to the legislature.
This all started back in 2017 when Representative Pete Fisher was contacted by local high school students who asked for change and proposed several possible designs. They thought the current flag, the state seal on a blue background, is cluttered and isn't easily recognizable.
Representative Fisher's flag bill was combined with DFL Rep. Mike Frieberg's legislation calling for a redesign of the state steal. The bill passed the House State Government Committee Tuesday, with the Democrats all voting in favor and Republicans all opposed. Republicans who voted against the bill didn't make any comments explaining their opposition.
The state seal is also being proposed for an update. It currently is a detailed image of a farmer in the foreground plowing a field with a rifle and ax on a tree stump nearby. The farmer appears to be looking over his shoulder at a shirtless Indigenous brave riding a horse holding a spear as the sun sets behind him.
The seal has drawn criticism from Native American Minnesotans.
A solution for the flag problem has been underway since the 1980s. A website called "The North Star Flag A PROPOSAL FOR A NEW MINNESOTA STATE FLAG" has been up and running for years. This site totes a design from Father William Becker of Rochester. He designed "The North Star Flag" in 1989. It includes a large yellow star and swaths of blue for water, white for changing seasons, and green for forests and agriculture.
I'm all for making necessary changes to make everyone who lives in Minnesota to feel safe and included. But a total overhaul of our flag seems like a bit much.
The arguments I'm seeing for wanting to change our flag seem to all revolve around the fact that it isn't as recognizable as other countries flags.
Here's the thing, we aren't a country, we are a state within a country that has it's own VERY recognizable flag. I couldn't pick out any other state's flag if I tried, but I know what my home state's flag is. I look for the blue flag with the state seal on it.
So if we are going to change anything, change the seal. Leave its integrity, but alter the images on it that need altering based on a diverse focus group of people that truly care about what is happening. If we are going to make these changes, make them the right way.
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