Minnesota unveils new state flag design

New Minnesota flag
Image caption,The flag was approved by Minnesota’s State Emblems Redesign Commission after an 11-1 vote

After months of debate and thousands of submissions, Minnesota has unveiled a new flag to replace a design many Native Americans considered offensive.

The proposed state flag, which features a white eight-pointed star against a dark blue background shaped like the state, was revealed on Tuesday.

The special commission that approved it said the design was an ode to Minnesota’s motto, Star of the North.

It added that the light blue represented the state’s waters.

The chairman of the redesign commission, however, acknowledged that the flag could be interpreted differently by others.

Andrew Prekker, a 24-year-old Minnesotan artist whose design formed the basis of the new flag, said it was “hard to express his gratitude and amazement”.

“Among the many emotions I’m feeling, the strongest are a sense of honour, privilege, excitement, and gratitude,” he said in a statement. “It’s such a rare privilege to be able to contribute to our state’s history in such a special way like this.”

The flag was approved by Minnesota’s State Emblems Redesign Commission after an 11-1 vote. The commission also approved a new state seal that features a loon, the state bird.

Barring an unlikely rejection by the state legislature, the new flag will become official on 11 May – Minnesota’s Statehood Day.

The current flag, which dates from 1957 and is an updated version of the 1893 original, features a horse-mounted Native American riding away from a farmer who has a plough and a rifle.

It has been the subject of years of debate in the state, and some members of the redesign commission said it could be viewed as a reference to the displacement of Native Americans in Minnesota.

Current flag of Minnesota
Image caption,Indigenous members of the commission said Minnesota’s current flag was offensive to Native Americans.

Mr Prekker’s design, however, has been compared by some to the flag of Puntland, a Somali state.

Minnesota is home to a large Somali diaspora, and is represented in Congress by Somali-born Senator Ilhan Omar, but officials have said that any similarity is a coincidence.

Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon http://mesinpencarinenas.com/ addressed the issue directly during a commission meeting earlier this week, noting that Iowa’s flag is similar to France’s and Texas’ is similar to Chile’s.

Several other US states have been redesigning their flags. Mississippi, for example, chose a new design in 2020 to replace one that featured the Confederate emblem.

Puntland Flag

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