SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The Utah State Flag Task Force unveiled a new state flag design this Thursday, Nov. 10, during a public meeting at the Utah State Capitol. Lawmakers are expected to ask the Utah State Legislature to consider a proposal to adopt the new flag in the 2023 legislative session.

The new state flag is a hybrid of two of the final five designs that the commission published on Monday, Nov. 7.

“This is the first time in [our] history that we have a flag that has public input, a lot of public input,” said Gov. Spencer Cox. “The public built this flag.”

The rugged white band on the flag represents Utah’s mountainous landscape and peace. The red symbolizes the red rocks of Southern Utah and the American flag. The gold of the beehive reflects prosperity and happiness while the symbol itself alludes to progress and hard work. The blue background suggests natural resources found in Utah and principles such as knowledge, freedom, justice and tranquility.

“It came up over and over again that the blue [color] is very meaningful, so keeping that exact same shade is important,” Cox said.

The eight-pointed star is a Native American hope symbol, which suggests hope and guidance. Mark Brooks, group creative director of ThomasARTS, said in the meeting that the public urged the design committee to adopt the star to represent the eight federally-recognized Indian tribes in Utah.

The placement of the star appears in the “doorway” of the beehive, which the committee said “provides hope and serves as the foundation of our state.” The gold hexagon surrounding the beehive stands for unity and strength.

“All the symbols represented here are symbols that make us who we are as Utahns,” Brooks said.

The new design looks different compared to the current State of Utah flag in many ways. The Utah state seal has been removed and replaced by minimalistic symbols and vibrant colors. However, Brooks said the new flag does take a certain degree of inspiration from the current flag. Elements like the beehive, blue background and arrows representing the Indian tribes in Utah are all included in the new design.

“We don’t want to forget that history,” he said. “We want to bring it forward.”

A bill proposal to adopt the flag is underway, according to Sen. Dan McCay. If the new flag is adopted, it will be displayed along with Utah’s current flag, which may become the governor’s ceremonial flag.

“The ceremonial flag isn’t going away,” said Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson on Twitter. “Instead, we’ll fly it on special occasions and official holidays. We can have both. We can celebrate both.”

The state flag task force, led by Cox and Henderson, received over 7,000 flag designs before narrowing it down to 20 semifinalists in September. The nine-member task force was established during the 2020 legislative session through the introduction of H.B.250 with Rep. Stephen Handy as the chief sponsor.

“The exercise of thinking about the flag has created conversations about Utah’s history,” said Sen. Luz Escamilla. “This became an educational process, and it engaged everyone. It was very inclusive.”

Take a look at the final five designs here: