SALT LAKE CITY – Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall made a formal recommendation to the City Council of a new design for the City’s flag. The proposed flag combines two of the highest-rated finalists into one new design. 

“We’re in a once-in-a-generation moment of change and there’s no more perfect time for our City to unite under a new symbol that personifies and unites us all. I believe this is the design that can take us forward, together,” Mayor Mendenhall said. 

“This has been a community-led initiative from the beginning. As a member of the design committee, it was clear that a lot of effort and care went into the submissions and feedback we reviewed. I’m looking forward to the Council seeing the final design and hearing about the process that got us to this point,” City Council Chair Chris Wharton said. 

The City says they began the process of selecting a new flag this spring with an open call for submissions. After receiving over 600 entries, the Salt Lake City Flag Design Committee convened to narrow the field down. 

Without any personal or demographic information on who designed each submission, the Committee followed the key principles of good flag design to narrow the field to eight flags for the public to rate. Those principles are: Keep It Simple, Use Meaningful Symbolism, Use 2-3 Basic Colors, No Lettering or Seals, and Be Distinctive or Be Related, according to a press release from the city.

City officials say they provided the same key principles of design, the public was asked to rate each design for symbols used, colors used, overall design, and how well each design represented Salt Lake City. 

The Committee evaluated survey data and narrowed the field of eight down to two top designs: one, a stylized black honeybee overlaying a golden honeycomb centered on horizontal bands of sky blue and white; and the other, a white and golden-yellow sego lily centered on an isosceles triangle of deep blue, under sky blue triangles.

Ultimately it was decided that the blue and white backdrop – which could symbolize snow, the sky, the Great Salt Lake, and salt – would pair best with the Sego Lily, a flower indigenous to the area, and which symbolizes resilience.

The flag’s designers are Salt Lake City locals Arianna Meinking, 18, and Ella Kennedy-Yoon, 17. 

City officials say Meinking has lived in Salt Lake City her whole life, recently graduating from West High School. She’s preparing to attend Harvey Mudd College in California but expects to return to the City, which is also where her family lives. Meinking said the thing she loves most about the City is that it offers a lifelong community of people who value each other and where they live.

“To me, this experience highlights what it means to live here. If I do my best to try to change the world around me, even in little ways, I can make a difference, and grow into that role,” Meinking said.

Kennedy-Yoon was also born and raised in Salt Lake City. The youngest of four children, she is a senior at West High School. According to Kennedy-Yoon, Salt Lake City is defined by its wonderful residents, according to city officials. 

“I am honored to have my design chosen to be part of what represents Salt Lake City. This opportunity is encouraging me to make a difference. I hope this flag will grow to become a symbol of the kindness and community that Salt Lake City embodies,” said Kennedy-Yoon.

The Salt Lake City Council will hear from the Mayor on the process and selection on Tuesday, September 29, and the Council will vote on adopting the design as the City’s new flag on October 6.

Click here to download the ABC4 Utah News app for the first alerts on your phone. Sign up for the ABC4 Utah breaking news and daily newsletters.