SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - On Monday, the current design of the Utah state flag turned 100-years old.
Settling on that design was a slow process. It wasn't finalized by the state legislature until 66-years after the Mormon pioneers came to the Salt Lake Valley.
In those 66-years, there were several pioneer flags and one territorial flag -- none of which survived.
The first post-statehood flag was commissioned in 1903 by Governor Heber Wells for the St. Louis World's Fair. "That flag became known as the governor's flag," said Utah historian Ronald Fox, "Because the legislature had not adopted a state flag."
The lawmakers finally got around to adopting it in 1911, but just two years later they changed the design by statute. He said, "Rather than have the old flag, which was just silver thread on blue fabric, they wanted to bring some color into it."
In 1913 State Representative Elizabeth Ann Wells Cannon from Salt Lake County wrote the bill with the legal description of the new, "colorful" state flag. In that sense, she became the mother of the modern Utah flag.
Ann's flag was presented to the commanding officer of a new battleship that would bear the state's name -- the USS Utah.
What became of the battleship's flag is unknown. Some say it may have been removed during a retrofitting of the ship. Others say it may well have gone down with the ship in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
Whatever the fate of that Utah flag, others like it have continued to fly for a century. "It's something that a lot of people identify with. Our military units go off to Afghanistan and Iraq and they carry our flag. I know we've taken it into space. It's just something that identifies the pride of the people of Utah," said Fox.