Answering the FAQ’s on Minnesota’s new flag

Gaul to give presentation at Marshall library

MARSHALL — New designs were chosen for the Minnesota state flag and state seal late last year – but area residents still have a lot of questions about them, Anita Gaul said.

“There’s a real interest in it,” she said. Gaul, who served as the vice-chair of the State Emblems Redesign Commission, said she’s been getting requests to speak to groups in southwest Minnesota about the flag selection process. The public will have a chance to learn more about the new state flag at an upcoming talk at the Marshall-Lyon County Library.

Gaul said she will be answering frequently-asked questions about the new flag and seal at the library on March 12. She said she hoped to help people understand the change, as well as clear up misconceptions.

“I’ll be talking about why they are changing in the first place,” she said, and the process used to develop a new flag and seal design.

The State Emblems Redesign Commission was formed through legislation passed by the Minnesota Legislature in 2023. Under that legislation, the group was tasked with adopting state flag and seal designs that “accurately and respectfully reflect Minnesota’s shared history, resources, and diverse cultural communities.”

The commission took submissions for flag and seal designs from the public, and worked to narrow the submitted designs to a group of finalists. The commission voted to adopt final design for the flag on Dec. 19.

The new flag and seal are set to go into effect on May 11, which is Minnesota’s statehood day.

“As the legislation is written, it’s a done deal,” Gaul said.

However, there have been negative responses to the new state flag and seal designs. In January, Nobles County Commissioners approved a resolution saying they were dissatisfied with the new flag and seal designs, as well the cost of changing flags and seals at the county level.

Two state legislators, Sen. Steve Drazkowski and Rep. Bjorn Olson, have also said they would introduce a bill putting the flag design to a public vote.

But having a public vote on the flag might not be possible, Gaul said. Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon has pointed out that Minnesota is not a referendum state, where popular votes can be held on new laws. Only constitutional amendments go to a public vote, Gaul said.

In addition to talking about the flag design and selection process during her talk, Gaul said she hoped to be able to answer questions she’s frequently heard. “I will do my best to answer them,” she said.

Gaul’s presentation on the new state flag and seal will be at 6:30 p.m. March 12, at the Marshall-Lyon County Library.


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