Brown Co. Board OKs resolution opposing state flag redesign process

Suggest more public comment, legislative approval

NEW ULM — Brown County commissioners unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday opposing the process to the Minnesota flag/seal redesign.

Action came on a motion by Commissioner Tony Berg, seconded by Dave Borchert.

“This isn’t about the flag design or change. It’s about the process they used,” said Commissioner Berg.

“The state legislature can put this in motion. It came up to me in conversation with people, whether this is our issue or not. I say it is. When you change a state flag, there are costs incurred by every county to change their flags,” Berg added.

He said the best course of action is for the legislature to take it up and create structure that let’s counties know if there funding coming from the State or if it’s basically an un-funded mandate.

Berg said when Canada changed its flag, the process went through the Canadian Parliament.

“The (State of Minnesota flag change) process was rushed, in four months basically. That’s pretty quick,” he added.

Commissioner Dave Borchert said he preferred another process.

“Realistically, they (flag change proponents) could have been at every county fair. There could have been participating boards involved,” said Borchert.

“This is a big deal. They could have taken measures to get more involvement from everybody involved,” he added.

New Ulm resident George Smith supported the county resolution.

“I think it’s a total waste of taxpayer money to try to change this flag now. I don’t know what they cost, but for every county to change them has got to be astronomical to replace all the flags,” Smith said.

Commissioner Scott Windschitl said county fairs would have been a really good place to set up and give people time to see what was happening what the options were.

Commissioner Brian Braun said he would have liked to have citizens asked if they wanted to change the flag.

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.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper?

Starting at $4.38/week.

Subscribe Today