Minnesota unveiled a new state flag Tuesday after the original flag drew criticism for its design and depiction of Native Americans.
The State Emblems Redesign Commission said it selected a new flag that features a white North star on a dark blue shape of Minnesota. The flag’s light blue background represents the state’s waters, according to the commission.
Minnesota artist Andrew Prekker, whose design formed the basis of the new flag, said it felt “surreal” to have his design chosen.
“It’s such a rare privilege to be able to contribute to our state’s history in such a special way like this,” he said in a statement on the commission’s website. “It’s an achievement that I hope brings a lot of unity and pride to our land, and I will hold that fact with great honor for the rest of my life.”
Luis Fitch, chairman of the commission, told CNN Monday he hopes the flag will bring Minnesotans together.
“My goal is to unite with this flag, not to separate us more,” Fitch said, adding that he hopes “any culture can relate to it.”
The previous design of the Minnesota state flag had drawn criticism for both its design and its depiction of Indigenous Americans, CNN previously reported.
In May 2023, the Minnesota state legislature passed a bill to redesign both the flag and the state seal. But there have been calls to change the flag dating back to the 1960s, CNN previously reported.
Critics have long taken issue with the state’s seal and flag over its depiction of a Native American on horseback at the center of the seal, which is viewed by some to be a reference to the displacement of Native people throughout Minnesota’s history.
The final flag design was selected from 2,500 public submissions, which included homages to popular Minnesota state symbols like the state bird, the loon, and the monarch butterfly, CNN previously reported.
Written by Meron Moges-Gerbi
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