SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Utah has a new official state flag.

Utah lawmakers passed S.B. 131 in the 2023 legislative season, which establishes the new state flag that will be adopted on March 9, 2024. Gov. Spencer Cox signed the bill into law on Tuesday, March 21, but he also requested the Legislature to amend the bill so that the previous state flag can be displayed above the new state flag when both are present.

“This will ensure that the historic flag will remain a symbol of our history and strength,” Cox said. “Our traditional Utah state flag has been a symbol of that faith, diligence and strength of the people of Utah since its adoption.”

Cox also issued an executive order on Tuesday outlining ways to display the historic state flag and the new state flag at state agencies.

The original state flag, which features Utah’s state seal, was created by the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1903 under the direction of Gov. Heber M. Wells. It was adopted on March 9, 1911.

The original flag will now be referred to as the “historic state flag” while the new one will simply be called the “state flag.”

The executive order will allow the historic state flag to be flown on top of the Utah State Capitol building every day alongside the new state flag on separate poles.

Additionally, Utah’s state agencies will be required to fly the historic state flag every legal holiday and adopt more ways to preserve the significance of the flag.

“I am grateful for the tens of thousands of Utahns who participated in designing and selecting this new flag,” Cox said. “Just as we have much to be grateful for from our ancestors, I hope that today’s Utahns will be worthy of the mantle that has been placed upon them to preserve and build Utah’s legacy for our children, grandchildren, and generations to come.”

The Utah State Flag Task Force unveiled the new state flag design on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022, during a public meeting at the Utah State Capitol. 

Here’s the meaning behind each symbol on the flag according to the Task Force:

  • Blue for knowledge, freedom, and tradition, as well as Utah’s natural lakes and dark skies.
  • A band of rugged white suggests Utahns’ idea of home, and evokes the mountains that called to, and cradled, generations of our ancestors and Utah’s tribal nations.
  • A gold hexagon for prosperity and industry, our state’s slogan, and our desert landscapes.
  • A beehive for prosperity and our identity as the Beehive State.
  • A five-pointed star which represents the foundation of our state and statehood.
  • A red rock valley represents Southern Utah’s majestic landscapes.