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Minnesota's new state flag is flying high on this year's Statehood Day

This Statehood day is marks a new flag for Minnesota
This Statehood day is marks a new flag for Minnesota 02:28

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Saturday is Minnesota Statehood Day, celebrating our state's admittance to the union as the 32nd state 166 years ago. But this year's celebration has an extra bit of history to it. 

It marks the first official day of the new Minnesota Flag and State Seal.

Saturday afternoon, the seal was publically used for the first time at the statehood day reception.

Secretary of State Steve Simon also signed the first proclamation using the new seal, in front of the new flag.

"2128 flags, submissions, and 399 Seal submissions and taking in nearly 22,000 written comments from Minnesotans all over our state," Simon said. "This is the day Minnesota formally, officially and legally adopts a new state flag and a new state seal with the hope and expectation that these two new emblems will unite us around shared symbols of our state for generations to come."

The designers of the new flag and seal were on hand to see their creations used publicly for the first time. 


"When it was revealed, to see the the sign and have it in dimension and to see it as a gold stamp on the programs today, it's just awesome," said Ross Bruggink who designed the new seal. "Seeing it in use and seeing its versatility. And yeah, and I just feel so proud that it'll be used for for generations."

"It's such an amazing feeling. I'm so honored and privileged to be a part of this. It's really a historical moment for Minnesota," said Andrew Prekker who designed the new flag. "It's crazy thinking the flag is gonna be, you know, flown across the state for every single person. It really is crazy."

Prekker first saw his design flying on his way to the statehood day reception. 

"On the drive up, we passed a Hilton Hotel, and I saw it flying on one of their flag poles. I was like, 'Oh my gosh, there's my flag!' We all just like stopped and like took pictures of the hotel on the flag. So that was pretty cool," he said. 

The legislature established the State Emblems Redesign Commission during the 2023 session to redesign Minnesota's flag and seal.

The reason for the change, according to state officials, was twofold. Primarily, officials were concerned with the scene depicted on the old flag, which many found offensive. First adopted in 1957, the flag showed a White settler tilling land as an Indigenous man rides horseback. Indigenous members of the State Emblem Redesign Commission said it was harmful to their communities and promoted the "erasure" of their people from the land.

READ MORE: Minnesota is officially flying its new flag. What happens to the old one?

"Our current flag is problematic. I think we all know that. We've evolved into a more diverse state and I think it's more reflective of that," Gov. Tim Walz said. 

Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, who is a member of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe, refused to use the old flag.

"There's no use in avoiding it or skirting the issue so it's just best to name it. The image and the orientation and the history of the Native American man on horseback was troubling to a great many," Simon said Saturday before officially introducing the seal and flag "And apart from that particular image, some felt that Minnesota simply needed to modernize its emblems of identity to embrace symbols that bind us together regardless of background, politics or zip code."

Prekker says the reception to his flag design has been interesting. 

"There is a huge conspiracy theory that I'm secretly Somalian and the flag represents Somalia, and I got a lot of online hate for that. I'm like, I'm just a kid from rural Minnesota," he said with a laugh. 


Both Prekker and Bruggink said they just wanted to create symbols everyone could be proud to work and live under. 

"The loon itself kind of has its chest up in the air, it has this proud stature. So I think just being proud of where we live and who we are and everything that Minnesota embodies," Bruggink said. 

"I hope when people look at it, everybody feels excited and unified and included with it," Prekker said. 

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