A group of DFL state representatives has introduced a bill in the Minnesota House that would establish a task force to “study the design of the state flag” and consider potential alternatives.
House File (HF) 505 was introduced Thursday and referred to the Government Operations Committee. It was authored by four DFL House members, including Reps. Peter Fischer (D-Maplewood), Jamie Becker-Finn (D-Roseville), Dave Pinto (D-St. Paul), and Jim Davnie (D-Minneapolis).
The bill would create a “legislative task force” consisting of three House members and three state senators who would study the design of the Minnesota flag.
“The task force shall study the form, style, and design of the state flag and suggest any desired changes, while preserving its basic symbolism. The task force may solicit and secure the voluntary service and aid of vexillologists and other persons who have either technical or artistic skill in flag construction and design,” the bill states.
It’s unclear exactly what the issue with the current flag design is, but this isn’t the first time Minnesota has considered redesigning its flag. In 2017, a group of Minnesotans launched a petition to urge former Gov. Mark Dayton (D-MN) to change the state’s “shameful” flag design.
“Our flag is hardly a flag, a seal is not a flag. As a state with its own culture, we need a flag that can represent that,” the petition said. “Minnesota’s distinctive culture, varied landscapes, and diversity of people all make it stand out amongst the Midwest. But our flag falls flat. Its unoriginality [sic] and laziness are shameful. We need a flag that lives up to the grandeur of our state, a flag that the people of Minnesota can be proud of.”
City Pages suggested that the “naked cartoon Native American, not to mention the skeptical stare he’s getting from lil plow guy, is a bit problematic.” The publication also took issue with the flag’s tribute to the founding of Fort Snelling, which it also called “deeply problematic.”
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Jim Davnie” by Jim Davnie. Photo “Jamie Becker-Finn” by Jamie Becker-Finn.