The stars ruled the day and the loon-inspired designs almost all saw their demise Tuesday as the State Emblem Redesign Commission narrowed Minnesota’s vast pool of flag and seal submissions to six.
After hours of deliberation, the jury chose six flag designs featuring stars, water ripples and hues of green and blue. Simplicity proved dominant over flag concepts with too many colors or symbols.
The sigil designs are likely to advance highly depicted stars, a loon (without laser eyes), and snowflake representations. They were still deliberating Tuesday evening.
Some of the more comical and viral submissions on social media, like a photo of someone’s dog, a hot dish and “bayg”, failed to make the cut. They are expected to choose new emblems at a public meeting next month.
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During their meeting on Tuesday, the panelists emphasized their desire to meet the demands placed on them by Parliament. They must select emblems that “accurately and respectfully reflect Minnesota’s shared history, resources, and diverse cultural communities.”
And designs cannot isolate a particular community or person.
Rep. Bjorn Olson, R-Fairmont, expressed concern about choosing options that could stand the test of time. He considered a top vote-getter that depicted a North Star and a rippling river reflecting the sky.
“It’s very much 2023,” he said. “I love it, but will I love it when I’m 100?”
President Luis Fitch agreed that the flag and seal should remain in vogue beyond 2023.
“I think that’s what’s going to make it very difficult for us,” Fitch said. “What’s in and what’s out of fashion and what makes a flag look like a flag that’s going to work for us now that we’re different from other states or nations and what’s more, it will work for future generations.”
Here’s a look at the six flag designs that will remain in the running.
The commission has a deadline to choose new emblems before the end of the year. Their choices will replace the state’s current flag and seal in May, unless vetoed by the Legislature.
Members of the public can weigh in and provide feedback at the Dec. 12 committee meeting.