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Why are there no loons on Minnesota's new state flag finalists?

Why are there no loons on Minnesota's new state flag finalists?
Why are there no loons on Minnesota's new state flag finalists? 02:18

MINNEAPOLIS — By now you likely know that there are six finalists for the new Minnesota flag.

The State Emblem Redesign Commission will meet Tuesday to discuss the finalists and to possibly make revisions to the top six designs.


The 13 members of SERC range from members of the public who applied to be on the commission, officials with the Minnesota Historical Society, Secretary of State Steve Simon and at least one representative each from Minnesota's Dakota and Ojibwe tribes. 

It was the image of the Native American on horseback riding away that has been widely considered the most troubling part of the existing flag. While the existing flag features a montage of designs, including a farmer plowing a field, the new designs are all sleeker, leaning on streamlined symbols, most in the form of a star to represent the North Star State. 

Thousands of people have weighed in with comments on the flag options and many of those comments are critical that a loon is not featured in any of the flag designs. 

The commission is scheduled to make a decision by the end of this calendar year. A final decision may come as soon as the  commission's Dec. 12 meeting  

Dr. Anita Gaul is a professor of history at Minnesota West Community and Technical College. She is vice chair of the commission and was a guest on WCCO Sunday Morning at 10:30 a.m.

"Again, just being guided by what the people want in this state," she said. "Of the flag submissions, 290 had loons on them but  over 1,700 had stars on them. So it seems to me there is a lot of flack going around why there are no loons, but we really are listening to the people and most Minnesotans seem to prefer the star on the flag."

For loon lovers, a loon is one of the five finalists for the state seal. The state seal is used for official business and the commission will also be choosing one of the five designs. The seal and flag are expected to start being used in May of 2024.

You can watch WCCO Sunday Morning with Esme Murphy and Adam Del Rosso every Sunday at 6 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

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