homepage logo

Guest opinion: Marking Flag Day by thinking about a new state flag

By Sen. Jake Anderegg - Special to the Daily Herald | Jun 11, 2022

Courtesy photo

Sen. Jacob Anderegg

As a Utah State Senator from Lehi, I’m proud whenever I have the chance to represent our state to the world. I’m proud to tell the Utah story, about our economy, our people, and the history and geography that have shaped us.

I serve as the chair of the Utah Senate’s International Trade Relations Board, and in that capacity I’ve represented our state at international events. At conferences and summits, I’ve watched attendees from all over the world recognize the distinctive flags of our neighboring states.

The state’s trade relations board, however, chooses not to use the Utah flag. Our flag, no matter how proud we are of our state’s history, simply isn’t instantly recognizable. Instead, it looks like so many other state flags that feature a seal on a blue background.

To mark Flag Day on Tuesday, it seems like a good time to talk about a new design for our state’s flag.

I joined the Utah State Flag Task Force because I want to rally around a state flag that is as recognizable as this place. The initiative goes beyond symbols for the tourism industry or even economic development.

Simply: I want our residents, like those in states like Colorado or New Mexico or Texas, to show off our local pride in displaying our flag. I want our state flag to express something significant about us as Utahns.

The More Than A Flag initiative launched in January, and by the end of April we had received more than 5,000 digital design submissions. We’ve also received hundreds of additional designs drawn by school kids that have been mailed in from across the state, and more than 1,500 survey responses.

This conversation has united lawmakers of the Utah State Flag Task Force — and residents — from both parties. And we’re particularly proud to have received submissions from each of the state’s 29 counties.

In the next phase of the process, we’ve asked the volunteers on the Design Review Subcommittee to look through all the submissions and select a group of top candidates. Those designs will be refined by professional artists and vexillographers to create “flag ready” designs to be considered by the Utah Legislature and by Utah Gov. Spencer J. Cox. We’ll ask Utah residents to weigh in when those finalists are posted on the Flag.Utah.gov website in August.

Some people have asked us valid questions like “Why?” and “Why now?” Or even more directly: “Doesn’t the state have more important issues to worry about?”

We think this conversation about a new state flag offers us the chance to identify what we have in common — drawing upon an identity as culturally rich as our state’s history.

We understand some of our neighbors and friends feel loyal to the current flag and the Utahns who have embraced its symbols. We consider this an effort to make the story of our great state even more recognizable.

And we hope as we celebrate Old Glory on Flag Day this Tuesday, we can keep working together to create enthusiasm for a flag that’s as distinctive as Utah.

Jacob “Jake” L. Anderegg has represented District 13 in the Utah State Senate since January 2017. He previously represented District 6 in the Utah House of Representatives. He holds degrees from Westminster College and Brigham Young University. He serves on the Utah State Flag Task Force, which was established during the 2020 legislative session via H.B. 250.


Join thousands already receiving our daily newsletter.

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)