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Utah flag could get redesign under legislative proposal

The Utah state flag. (Credit: Adobe Stock)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah lawmakers are considering forming a commission to come up with a new design for a state flag that hasn’t been changed in more than 120 years.

The Utah House voted 46-26 on Friday in favor of a bill that would create a commission to review and recommend designs for a new state flag, The Salt Lake Tribune reported . The bill will now move to the Senate for consideration.

The blue state flag has featured the same style with slight variations since it was first used in 1896. The flag includes a mix of state and national symbols, including a bald eagle, the U.S. flag and a beehive on a blue backdrop.

Republican Rep. Steve Handy said he came up with the idea to introduce the bill after speaking with a constituent who advocated for a new flag, he said.

If the measure does pass, an 11-member panel would be assembled to review submissions and report back to lawmakers by November.

Once the new designs are chosen and submitted, it would be up to a future Legislature to make the final decision for a new flag.

Handy mentioned that other states wear flags on their hats and t-shirts, while that is not often seen in Utah. But when he said that a new flag would help bring publicity outside of formal settings, there was some pushback.

Rep. Scot Chew, a Republican from Jensen, said he’s proud of the flag and scoffed at the notion from flag experts that children should be able to draw a flag from memory.

“Does that mean someone 3 years old or 17 years old?” Chew said.

Republican Rep. Brady Brammer said that an old college acquaintance used to hang it in a shared space.

“I’m not in favor of revisiting our state flag at this time,” he said.