Minnesota Unveils New State Flag to Replace Controversial Design

Redesigning a Symbol:

Minnesota has revealed a new state flag, addressing concerns about the previous design, which faced criticism for its perceived insensitivity towards Native Americans.

The unveiling took place on Tuesday, showcasing a design selected by The State Emblems Redesign Committee from over 2,500 public submissions.

Symbolic Elements of the New Design:

The new flag features a white eight-pointed North star set against a dark blue background, shaped in the form of the state.

Additionally, a light blue field represents the state’s abundant waters.

Minnesota artist Andrew Prekker is the creative mind behind this chosen design, which was hailed as a significant departure from the controversial imagery of the past.

Timeline for Adoption:

Scheduled for official adoption on May 11, 2024, the new flag marks a pivotal moment for the state.

Its symbolic elements aim to encapsulate the essence of Minnesota, known as the ‘Land of 10,000 Lakes,’ and foster a sense of unity among its residents.

Controversy Surrounding the Previous Flag:

The decision to redesign the state flag arose from criticism of the 1893 design, which depicted a Native American on horseback, leaving with a white settler in the foreground.

The imagery was seen by some as perpetuating stereotypes and was deemed offensive.

Calls for change date back to the 1960s, with concerns about the representation of Indigenous Americans.

Legislative Action and Public Participation:

In response to mounting concerns, the state legislature passed a bill in May to redesign both the flag and the state seal.

A committee was formed, and the public actively participated by submitting various design proposals.

Other entries paid homage to state symbols like the loon and the monarch butterfly.

Emotional Response and Gratitude:

Minnesota artist Andrew Prekker, the creator of the selected design, expressed his gratitude and excitement for the honor bestowed upon him.

Describing the experience as surreal, he conveyed a sense of honor, privilege, excitement, and gratitude.

Prekker emphasized the rare privilege of contributing to the state’s history and the hope that the new flag would represent all Minnesotans, fostering unity and pride.

A Symbol for All Minnesotans:

Prekker’s statement conveyed his aspiration for the new flag to be inclusive, representing every Minnesotan, including Indigenous communities historically excluded.

He expressed gratitude to the committee for recognizing the significance of his design, acknowledging the support received from individuals who contributed to the special experience.

The unveiling of Minnesota’s new state flag reflects a conscientious effort to address historical concerns and create a symbol that resonates positively with its diverse population.

The selected design, with its thoughtful elements and emphasis on unity, signifies a step towards inclusivity and cultural sensitivity.

Andrew Prekker’s emotional response underscores the profound impact that such symbols can have on a community’s identity, and the hope is that this new flag will serve as a unifying emblem for all Minnesotans.

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