The Utah state flag, top, and the new commemorative state flag, below, fly atop the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, July 13, 2021. Utah State Flag Task Force hammered out a new, detailed timeline for the process for a new Utah state flag on Monday. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)
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SALT LAKE CITY — Members of the Utah State Flag Task Force on Monday hammered out a new, detailed timeline for the process for a new Utah state flag, including having a final design to propose to the Utah Legislature by the fall of 2022.
Those on the task force, including Gov. Spencer Cox and Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson, have dubbed the campaign for a new flag, “More Than A Flag” with a public outreach effort to launch Jan. 19, 2022, which is the second day of the upcoming legislative session and also Local Officials Day at the Utah State Capitol.
“The campaign is a statewide initiative that will invite Utahns to submit ideas and designs for a new Utah state flag — as part of a larger conversation about what symbols, colors and themes set Utah apart,” according to Ellen Weist, the spokeswoman of Utah Department of Cultural & Community Engagement, in a news release Tuesday.
From Jan. 19 through April 30, 2022, Utahns will be able to submit their ideas and designs either through the mail or a soon-to-be-published website. The designs and ideas will be reviewed by a design review committee that includes artists, designers, educators, historians and representatives from multicultural communities, according to the task force.
The committee will share finalists for the new state flag with the public in August 2022, when there will be a public comment period. The committee will then review that feedback and select three final designs for the task force to mull over by September 2022. The task force is expected to make a decision from there and submit that flag design for legislative approval in the fall of 2022.
The update comes a little over a month after the Utah Legislature approved an extension of the task force’s timetable during a special session. The bill requires the task force to have 10 possible designs proposed by Sept. 15, 2022, and have a written report about recommendations sent to the Legislature’s Economic Development and Workforce Services Interim Committee by Nov. 1, 2022 — both would be accomplished with the new timeline approved Monday.
The task force first met in June, months before the new bill was signed. Members also brought on the Utah-based strategic planning firm Wilkinson Ferrari & Co. to assist in public outreach, Rep. Stephen Handy, R-Layton, a member of the committee, told KSL in October.
Utah has held the same flag design since 1911, with one minor adjustment made in 2011 to correct an error in the flag that emerged in the printing process all the way back in 1922. But Lindsey Ferrari, the co-founder of the strategic planning firm, said in October that initial feedback from focus groups indicated a strong interest in a new flag design.
About 100 volunteers on various flag committees were set up in the early phases of research.
“Without exception, everyone on the committee sees the need to come up with a flag that represents a shared identity of what Utah is like now,” she said, in October. “The question we ask now is, ‘Does the current flag still represent the Great State of Utah?’ And, for the most part, people think ‘no.’ They don’t have a connection to the flag and a sense of personal identity with the flag.”