As I’ve been watching the legislative session, I came across an interesting bill about the Legislature changing the state flag. Apparently, it’s been in the works for a couple of years. I always thought that state flags were the most boring kind of flags. I doubt many Utahns think it is really something the state should spend its time and resources on. I like flags, so I thought I’d chip in my two cents.
Utah’s current flag was made for the battleship Utah in 1912. It consists of a blue background with the seal of Utah in the middle surrounded by a golden circle. The bald eagle on the seal represents protection in peace and war. The sego lily, our state flower, represents peace. The state motto “Industry” and a beehive represent progress and hard work. The U.S. flags on the seal represent loyalty to the USA. The name Utah appears below the beehive. And the year 1847 represents the year the Mormon pioneers came into the valley. The year 1896 on the flag is when Utah became a state.
The new flag design has a beehive in the middle and a red star. There are two blue triangles on either side of the beehive to represent tradition as a nod to the old flag. The white triangle on the top of the flag represents the snow and the mountains and the red triangle at the bottom of the flag represents the red rocks of southern Utah. The number 18 is on the left side of the beehive and 47 on the right side of the beehive to represent the year the Mormon pioneers arrived in Salt Lake Valley.
If they insist on changing the state flag, I have a few recommendations that I find are truly Utahn. Putting Delicate Arch on the flag. A picture of Green Jell-O. The Osmonds. A Wiki-Up. A minivan. The Salt Lake Temple. Maybe Brigham Young eating green Jello in a mini-van listening to the Osmonds on his way to the Salt Lake Temple as he speeds by a Wiki-Up in front of Delicate Arch. In short, cool ideas, but there are more important things to consider for Utah.
It’s a pretty flag, but I don’t think the Legislature needs to spend time and money on a new state flag at this time. They should focus on the important things: anti-gerrymandering legislation, medical marijuana, raising minimum wage, housing affordability, and affordable healthcare while working on reducing the costs of prescription drugs. Work on funding education, companies offering livable wages, and cleaning up the air so we can enjoy our state flag as it flies in the beautiful blue Utah sky.
Jeff Saunders is a Tooele City resident.