Proposed Brown Co. resolution opposes flag redesign process

Suggest changes receive public comment, go through Legislature

Staff photo by Fritz Busch The current Minnesota flag blows in the wind at Schonlau Park, downtown New Ulm.

NEW ULM — Brown County commissioners will consider a resolution Tuesday, March 27 opposing the process to the Minnesota flag/seal redesign.

According to the request for board action, the 2023 Legislature created a State Emblems Commission to redesign the Minnesota seal and flag. The commission was instructed to bring recommendations by Jan. 1, 2024. They allowed for submissions, received public comment until Dec. 15 and made significant changes to the design on Dec. 19. After that, there was not an option to consider further public comment.

“The response has been overwhelmingly negative,” read the board request.

“This resolution expresses disappointment with the lack of democratic process and requests that any changes receive public comment and go through our Legislature,” added the request.

The resolution urged the legislative delegation and Governor to reject the work of the State Emblems Redesign Commission and urged them to retain the existing state seal and state flag as the official emblems of the State of Minnesota, and allow for public comment to be considered and go through our legislature.

A number of other Minnesota county boards have passed similar resolutions.

Flag commission vice chairwoman Anita Gaul, an author, history teacher and southwest Minnesota resident, said she often finds flag design opposition stems from misconceptions and misunderstandings about the process.

“I disagree it wasn’t part of a democratic process,” said Gaul. “We continually asked for and received public input. More than 270,000 people visited our flag commission website. We received more than 21,000 public comments.”

Gaul said the flag commission work was guided by volunteer Minnesotans who submitted the design on the due date.

“This was efficiency at work. We completed the whole process in four months. I recognize change is hard. Once we get over that, everybody will embrace it,” added Gaul.

“I’ve heard mixed feedback. Some people like it and are flying the new flag near their houses, some don’t like it, some just say ‘meh’ and don’t care,” Gaul said.

She said Canada changed its flag to a maple leaf decades ago, causing people to demonstrate in the street.

“Now, the maple leaf flag is one of the most loved flags in the world. I think the same will be true for Minnesota,” said Gaul.


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