Wild Nature

published : 2023-11-09

Minnesota Embarks on Redesign of State Flag and Seal Amid Complaints

See the Creative Gallery of Submissions for Minnesota's New State Emblem

A photo of a group of Native American dancers performing a traditional dance at a cultural event in Minnesota. [taken with Canon EOS 5D Mark IV]

The Minnesota State Historical Society has unveiled over 2,000 submissions for the redesign of Minnesota's state flag and seal.

The project to reimagine the state's emblems began in September after widespread criticism that the current designs were unappealing and offensive.

The Associated Press described the current seal as depicting a Native American riding into the sunset while a white settler works the land with a rifle nearby.

These images were seen by many as symbolizing Indigenous defeat and the permanence of white dominance.

Local Native American tribes expressed their dissatisfaction with the current imagery.

A close-up shot of a white settler's hands holding a plow while working on a farm in Minnesota. [taken with Nikon D850]

The guidelines for the redesign commission emphasized the need for new designs to accurately reflect Minnesota's shared history, resources, and diverse cultural communities.

They also specified that the new emblems should not represent a single community or person.

Among the submissions were some lighthearted and joke designs, including renditions of the USSR flag, references to the Minnesota accent, and playful nods to the state's loon bird.

Popular inspirations included Minnesota's Scandinavian heritage, with several designs incorporating elements from the flags of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland.

Some experts and flag enthusiasts have long criticized Minnesota's current flag, ranking it as one of the worst in the country.

A vibrant photo of a diverse group of people from different cultural communities in Minnesota, coming together and celebrating their shared heritage. [taken with Sony Alpha A7 III]

The State Emblems Redesign Commission will select five designs for the state seal and flag in November, and a final design will be chosen from those five.

The new flag and seal are expected to be adopted by January 1 and unveiled on Minnesota's statehood day in May.

Minnesota is not alone in the effort to update its state flag; Utah recently adopted a new design, and Massachusetts and Maine are also considering redesigns.

The transformation of Minnesota's state emblem is poised to be an exciting journey that aims to create a symbol that reflects the state's diverse history, culture, and values.