Massive new flag to be displayed and become official on Saturday

Mar 8, 2024, 4:46 PM | Updated: Mar 9, 2024, 10:20 am

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s new state flag becomes officially legal on March 9. The occasion is being marked by a ceremony, a massive new state flag hanging from fire trucks in front of the state Capitol, and a ceremonial flag raising.

Saturday’s ceremony will also usher in some state history. Utah’s historic flag, the traditional blue one with the seal, became the flag on March 9, 1911, 113 years ago. Once the new flag is official, vexillologists — those who study flags — said Utah becomes just a handful of states with two official state flags.

Giant verstion of new state flag

A massive version of the new state flag design is laid out at Colonial Flag on Friday, March 8, 2024. (KSL TV)

“To be able to raise a new flag over the state capitol with the historic flag tomorrow is going to be one of those historic events that, you know what we’re going to be remembering for quite a while,” said Colonial Flag vexillologist Devaughn Simper.

Lawmakers approved the new state flag a year ago but waited a year to implement it so they could celebrate Utah’s Flag Day. They also wanted inventory of the historic blue flag to sell out.

Utah Sen. Dan McCay, R -Riverton, has become the state’s defacto “flag guy.” He sponsored the bill and has promoted its use ever since. He said over the last year he’s seen more and more of the new flags being flown.

“I get something probably new every other day of some private businesses incorporating it or citizens who are incorporating it in their work or whatever it may be,” he said.

For him, this new flag represents the work of thousands of people over the last few years.

“I think I’ve always just wanted something that I can show off that I’m proud of Utah, I’m proud of my home and where I’m from and it doesn’t get better than this,” he said.

The new design has a lot of symbolism. The blue sky at the top, above the snowcapped mountains and red-rock landscape in the south.

The beehive represents Utah’s “working together” spirit, and then the star represents Utah’s native tribes.

The new design of the flag was not without controversy. A group is currently suing to try and stop this new flag from taking effect.

Tomorrow’s ceremony will be attended by the governor, lieutenant governor, members of the State Flag Task Force, and anyone who made this new flag a reality and wants to attend.

The public is invited to attend at 10 a.m. on the south steps of the Capitol.

In addition, Utah’s Capitol Preservation Board has opened a new exhibit titled, “Unfurling the Story of Utah’s State Flag,” which is now on display on the first floor, east wing, inside the Capitol.

KSL 5 TV Live

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Massive new flag to be displayed and become official on Saturday