Utah governor sets standards for displaying new, historic state flags

Photo: Utah Department of Cultural and Community Engagement

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, March 21, 2023 (Gephardt Daily) — Utah’s longtime state flag is getting a new name, but Gov. Spencer Cox says it’s not leaving the top of the Capitol anytime soon.

Cox issued an executive order Tuesday designating Utah’s state flag since 1911 as the “historic state flag” and calling for it to remain atop of Utah Capitol daily and flown at all state buildings on certain holidays and special occasions.

The community-created new state flag was adopted by the Utah Legislature on March 2 and will become the “state flag” on March 9, 2024, according to the governor’s office.

“I believe that Utahns should take great pride in our state’s history and never forget the sacrifices that have been made by our ancestors,” Cox said in a news release. “Our traditional Utah state flag has been a symbol of that faith, diligence and strength of the people of Utah since its adoption.”

Cox said he also plans to ask the state Legislature to amend Senate Bill 31 to require the historic flag to be flown above the new state flag when they’re flown together.

“This will ensure that the historic flag will remain a symbol of our history and strength,” said Cox, who signed SB31 on Tuesday.

The signing follows a two-year community effort to create a new state flag that represents Utah today while honoring the state’s history.

The More Than a Flag Project reviewed more than 7,000 flag ideas — including 5,700 designs — submitted as part of the community initiative. More than 1,000 designs were hand-drawn flags from Utah schoolchildren, according to the Utah Department of Cultural and Community Engagement.

“I am grateful for the tens of thousands of Utahns who participated in designing and selecting this new flag,” Cox said. “Just as we have much to be grateful for from our ancestors, I hope that today’s Utahns will be worthy of the mantle that has been placed upon them to preserve and build Utah’s legacy for our children, grandchildren, and generations to come.”

The governor’s order requires the historic state flag to be flown daily atop the Capitol. It also requires the state flag and historic state flag to be flown on separate flagpoles daily on the Capitol grounds.

All state agencies will fly the historic state flag on legal holidays and any other significant agency events, according to the governor’s office.

The historic state flag was created by the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1903 under the direction of Gov. Heber M. Wells. The Utah Legislature adopted it as the state flag on March 9, 1911.


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