A new flag commemorating Utah’s 125th anniversary was raised above the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Tuesday.
The commemorative flag was approved in the last days of the 2021 Legislature as a part of SB48. The bill also created a task force that will review the current flag code and review if the banner should be updated. It will fly below the official state flag through the end of the year.
In 2018, businessman and onetime GOP gubernatorial candidate Richard Martin started Organization for a New Utah Flag. In 2019, he told the Deseret News the current state flag, which has remained essentially unchanged for the past 100 or so years, has too many symbols, an overall poor design and no longer carries meaning for the average Utahn.
Martin, with the design help of son Jonathan, came up with the new concept, hoping it might one day become the new state flag. During past legislative session, Organization for a New Utah Flag proposed the design, with a few tweaks, be Utah’s commemorative state flag for the state’s 125th anniversary.
The flag features a red-white-and-blue background over which is a beehive design and a white star.
According to the organization, the gold beehive represents Utah as the Beehive State and the state’s motto of “Industry.” The star below the beehive represents Utah’s statehood and joining of the Union in 1896, and the triangular saltire symbolizes Utah’s moniker as the “Crossroads of the West.”
In addition, the five sections of the flag represent the five native tribes of Utah — the Ute, Paiute, Navajo, Shoshone and Goshute. As for the background colors, the blue symbolizes Utah’s tradition and the Great Salt Lake; the white represents the snow-capped Rocky Mountains and the “Greatest Snow on Earth,” and the red stand for the red rocks and national parks of southern Utah.