SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Legislators are debating changing the state's flag. In a committee meeting Wednesday, many lawmakers and members of the public spoke in favor of considering other options.
The House Government Operations Standing Committee considered two bills Wednesday to change the flag of Utah. The committee did not take any action on HB292, which presents a specific design for a new Utah flag. HB219, which would create a commission to examine the state flag, was put on hold to consider changes.
Utah's current flag has a lot of symbolism, but many people do not know what our flag is or what it represents, according to Rep. Keven Stratton, R-Orem, who is sponsoring HB292.
The flag presented in that bill was designed by Johnathan Martin with the Organization for a New Utah Flag. He said the purpose of the flag is to tell the history of the people.
The date placed on the suggested flag is 1847, rather than the year Utah became a state, which Martin said is represented in the red star. Some members of the committee and public said this was excluding some Utahns. The current flag has both dates.
"Whatever we do I think it's important that we recognize … all the things that are unique and wonderful about Utah, the things that make Utah what it is," Stratton said.
Chance Hammock, co-director of the Utah flag group, talked about other state flags which are seen on clothing, like California and Colorado. He said he doesn't remember seeing the Utah flag off of a flag pole.
Rep. Steve Handy, R-Layton, is the sponsor of HB219. He said it would create a short-term commission which would consider the current Utah flag and options for improvement.
"Our proposal is the collaborative, Utah way," Handy said.