In the midst of its nickname as the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” and hosting more Minnesotans than any other state in the continental U.S., Minnesota underwent a significant change in 2023, deciding to update its official flag. This alteration followed persistent complaints spanning decades – over a century, even – regarding the unappealing nature of their former state flag, and to be frank, it was indeed lackluster. The former flag displayed a less-than-engaging design that had become a symbol of dissatisfaction among the state’s residents.
The previous Minnesota state flag sported a composition that, by flag standards, was excessively adorned with images of individuals in the foreground and background. Its design not only lacked visual allure but also contained elements of racist imagery, making it an unrepresentative and uninspiring symbol for the state. While it did feature 19 stars symbolizing Minnesota as the 19th state in the Union (excluding the original 13), and the inclusion of the “L’Étoile du Nord” motto added a touch of European elegance, the overall flag design was mundane. For a state boasting personalities like Richard Dean Anderson, Steve Zahn, and The Trashmen, the old flag felt notably lackluster and unrepresentative.
Minnesota sought change and eventually selected a new flag through a rigorous selection process. The winning design, crafted by Luverne resident Andrew Prekker, emerged as the fresh and contemporary representation of the state. The new flag comprises two fields of varying shades of blue with a single star positioned on one side, a stark contrast to the previous lackluster design.
The design was chosen by the State Emblems Redesign Commission from over 2,500 submissions. However, while the new flag is set to become official starting May 11, 2024, its approval rests upon the State Legislature, which has the authority to veto the proposed design. Given the unpredictable nature of the Minnesota State Legislature, there remains a degree of uncertainty regarding the fate of the new flag.
This marks the third time the Minnesota state flag has undergone alterations since its original introduction in 1893. In 1956, changes were made, replacing the original garish white lady’s slipper flowers with elegant pink-and-white lady’s slippers, while also adjusting its color scheme to a consistent royal blue. Subsequently, in 1983, the state further refined the color profile, transitioning to a more vibrant medium blue after realizing the previous royal blue hue was not entirely fitting.