SB 31 adopts the new flag design as of March 9. 2024. Utah’s current flag will be know as the historic flag, to be flown as a set on state holidays.
LONG MAY THE NEW BEEHIVE FLAG WAVE
In a historic vote on March 2, the Utah Legislature approved the new Beehive Flag as Utah’s new state flag. After the Senate concurred, now SB 31 heads to Utah Gov. Spencer Cox’s desk for approval. Thank you to all the volunteers, flag lovers, students, and Utah voters who joined the conversation.
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Blue represents our lakes and our wide-open skies, and beloved principles such as knowledge, freedom, optimism, and tradition.
The beehive represents Utah’s history and a sense of community, plus "Industry," our state’s slogan.
The gold hexagon rim around the beehive stands for strength and unity.
The white segment represents peace and Utah’s snowy mountain peaks, which recognize the state’s Indigenous people. That includes the eight Tribal Nations, who have lived here since time immemorial, and who are still here and still thriving.
The red rock valley represents Southern Utah’s rugged canyons, which millions of people around the world travel to see.
At the foundation of the beehive is a five-pointed star, which represents hope and the year 1896, when Utah was admitted to statehood. These are enclosed by a hexagon, which symbolizes the strength of Utah’s people.
The red, white, and blue colors represents Utahns’ love of freedom and our country. Gold represents prosperity and industry.
UTAH’S FLAG HISTORY
- Utah’s original flag was created in 1903 to be used at the St. Louis World’s Fair. Utah Gov. Heber M. Wells asked the Daughters of the American Revolution to oversee its creation.
- The blue flag with the state seal and the year 1896 in white thread was known as the Governor’s flag until 1911.
- A flag was ordered in full color in 1912 for presentation to the U.S.S. Utah battleship. A manufacturer redesigned it, without authorization, by adding a gold circle around the seal. The Utah State Legislature adopted those changes in 1913. (That flag is thought to have sunk with the ship in the Pearl Harbor attack of 1941.)
- In 1922, the Utah governor ordered a "correct" state flag, which was based on the 1903 design, with the blue background behind the seal, not white. The flag didn't include the year 1847 in the seal, and that unofficial design became a pattern used by flag makers.
- Utah flags from 1922 to 2011 included the year 1847, but incorrectly added below the state seal. For nearly 90 years the state flew an incorrect "unauthorized" flag.
- Flag mistakes were discovered by historians in the 1980s. In 2011, the Utah Legislature passed a resolution returning the flag to its original approved design.
“This is not an effort, at all, to take away our history. This is an effort to modernize a symbol of our great state.”
Rep. Stephen Handy, of the Utah Flag Task Force
People might ask: Doesn’t Utah have enough things to worry about? That’s a valid question.
This effort truly is about more than a flag, it's a chance to have a conversation about who we are today and the importance of choosing a 21st-century flag to represent us all. Learn more about the plan to select a new flag.
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