Loons, stars and ‘bayg’: Minnesotans can check out state flag designs this week

The Minnesota state flag (center) which is due to be replaced, shown at the state Capitol on Nov. 7, 2023 with the U.S. flag (left) and flag of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe.
Dana Ferguson | MPR News

From the artistic to the simplistic to the sarcastic, the more than 2,600 submissions for a new Minnesota flag and seal run the gamut. And the public should get its first glimpse of the entries later this week.

The State Emblem Redesign Commission on Tuesday said it plans to launch a website where the public can view designs and comment on submissions. An early preview of the website showed several designs that included stars, evoking Minnesota’s nickname as the North Star State, and loons as central images.

Others were whimsical in nature, including one that played off the tendency of people to draw out the pronunciation of the word “bag” as “bayg.”

The panel said some applicants included private information, which delayed the website’s rollout.

Later this month, members will narrow the field to five finalists. And it will select single designs for the flag and official seal in December. The new designs will take hold next year unless the Legislature votes to veto them.

Submissions were required to reflect Minnesota’s shared history, resources and diverse cultural communities. Designers won’t be eligible for a prize or monetary compensation if their idea gets picked.

To be eligible, a designer had to be 18 or older, or have a parent or guardian submit on their behalf. Each submitter could enter up to three designs for the flag and three for the seal. Members of the commission, along with their immediate family were ineligible to apply.

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