(Photo by GEORGE FREY/AFP via Getty Images)
OAN Roy Francis
UPDATED 12:58 PM – Wednesday, March 22, 202
Governor Spencer Cox has signed a bill which authorizes a new state flag for Utah on Tuesday afternoon.
Excited to sign both SB 31 and a new executive order today. Our traditional Utah state flag has been a symbol of faith, diligence and strength to Utahns, and will continue to fly at the state Capitol along with the new state flag of Utah.
Read the https://t.co/iqbp0CinDr… pic.twitter.com/fSZdtx3aRn
— Utah Gov. Spencer J. Cox (@GovCox) March 21, 2023
After five years of using different iterations, the new bill and executive order formalized the change and designated the old flag as a “historic state flag.”
The official new flag features a large yellow beehive at its center, which symbolizes the state’s “industry” along with its motto.
The House has passed the state flag bill!
Not only will Utah have a beautiful historical flag, after Senate concurrence, we’ll soon have a new flag to fly in the Beehive State. pic.twitter.com/iZfm5bfzLR
— Lt. Gov. Deidre M. Henderson (@LGHendersonUtah) March 2, 2023
“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,” Governor Cox (R-Utah) said. “Our traditional Utah state flag has been a symbol of that faith, diligence and strength of the people of Utah since its adoption.”
The replaced flag had been the state’s original design made in 1903 by the Daughters of the American Revolution. It was officially adopted by the state legislature in 1911. The new flag contains the same shade of blue as the original, which is a way in which it acknowledges its heritage.
The revamp of the flag has been underway since 2019 with officials picking a pennant from the more than 5,700 samples submitted by the public.
“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.”
In a concession to the opponents of the new flag, Cox signed an executive order which will require the display of the historic version of the flag above the Utah Capitol. The new bill will also require all state agencies to display the historic version during holidays.
Cox also asked for an additional amendment that will require the historic version to be flown above the modern one whenever the two flags are displayed together.
“As governor, I am proud to issue today an executive order requiring that the current state flag be flown at the Capitol at all times and at all state buildings on certain holidays and special occasions,” the governor said in a statement. “I am further requesting that, during an upcoming session, the Legislature amend SB 31 to require the historic state flag be flown above the new state flag when the two flags are flown together. This will ensure that the historic flag will remain a symbol of our history and strength.”
The original sponsor of the flag, Senator Dan McCay (R-Utah) said that he is making plans on implementing the changes requested by the governor.
“I’m grateful the Governor found a way to ensure that our current flag will maintain an important role in the future of Utah,” McCay sai. “I’m excited about all the effort Utahns took to participate in the design of the new flag and hope that it serves the Beehive state for many years to come.”
SB 31 had passed the state Senate 17-10. Following that, it progressed through the House by a vote of 40-35.
Stay informed! Receive breaking news directly to your inbox for free. Subscribe here. https://www.oann.com/alerts