Failed state flag designs get new life

Failed state flag designs get new life

Failed state flag designs get new life

Some of the eliminated designs for Minnesota’s next state flag are getting new life in an alternative market.

The State Emblems Redesign Commission received more than 2,600 submissions for the new state flag and seal, which they narrowed down to three finalists Tuesday.

Minnesotans have voiced strong opinions on the designs that made the cut and those that did not.

“I think a lot of people in Minnesota found some sort of identity in the ones that were rejected,” said Michael Green, who is a vexillologist — or flag expert.

Green is also the founder of Flags for Good, a company that sells ‘alternative flags’ and gives portions of the proceeds to charity.

They put some of the ‘failed flags’ from Minnesota up for sale Wednesday, including the so-called ‘Menacing Loon’ and ‘Starflake.’

The ‘L’etoile du Nord’ flag finalist, which became known as Starflake, gained popularity throughout the contest and ultimately became one of the state’s six finalists.

It was eliminated Tuesday when the commission decided on the top three.

The Starflake design was created by Brandon Hundt, a web product designer from St. Paul, who said he was disappointed to be eliminated but is thankful for the process.

“I’m surprised at how many superfans of the flag have emerged,” Hundt said. “It has a lot of public support on social media and a lot of folks have reached out to me today.”

Hundt started working on the flag design eight years ago — before the state contest even existed.

“It’s a pretty simple design but it has a lot of complex meanings, like you can see the Dakota star in it. It’s the star on the floor of the Capitol Rotunda, you see it on barns across the state, so I think it’s a star that resonates with folks and they can see themselves in it,” Hundt said.

He does not know why his design was cut from the competition but he was encouraged to see it was picked up by Flags for Good.

“That helped soften the blow a little bit! Like, oh, you’re resonating with the design,” Hundt said. “I’m happy to see people fly it and it’ll be cool to run across it in public every once in a while.”

Green added, “We only make flags we believe in and that we like. People have sold us out of the Starflake flag already, so we’re going to have to do another run of those.”

One dollar from every sale of the Minnesota-based flags will support an indigenous charity of the purchaser’s choice, including the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women and Native American Rights Fund.

“We recognize that this was their land first and we need to make sure they are supported,” Green explained.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS asked the State Emblems Redesign Commission if there are any legal issues with using the eliminated flag designs. A spokesperson responded:

“All submitters agreed to the conditions, including that all submissions are the sole property of the State of Minnesota. More information will be necessary to determine whether the designs can be legally used in this way.”

Green said, overall, he believes getting a new state flag will be good for Minnesota.

“When you give people a symbol of belonging that they want to wear or tattoo on themselves, it behooves the state to have a great symbol to represent itself and allow for its citizens to be ambassadors of the state,” Green said.

The next step in the flag selection process is for graphic designers to make modifications to the three finalists based on the commission’s recommendations Tuesday and create new mockups.

The commission meets again on Friday.

They have to pick a final design by Jan. 1.