State flag commission narrows field to 3 finalists

Minnesota is now down to three finalists for the state’s next flag.

The State Emblems Redesign Commission, which is charged with selecting the state’s new flag and seal, met Tuesday in hopes of getting closer to finalizing the look of Minnesota’s new banner. The panel settled on a preliminary design for a state seal last week.

After the commission chose six flag finalists and had them made into cloth, members agreed to move forward with three finalists, all of which feature a single star:

Flag commission members looked at variations of those designs on Tuesday and discussed potential tweaks. Alterations could include changes to the colors, line weights and star designs.

Also during Tuesday’s meeting, the commission finalized changes to their chosen state seal design.

The original design featured a scene of a loon rising from a lake with wild rice to the left and two Norway pines on the right. A four-pointed star hangs above the trees, and the state’s motto, “L’etoile du Nord,” is printed above the loon’s head. Ringing the seal is the text, “The Great Seal of the State of Minnesota” and the year of Minnesota’s statehood, 1858.

The commission decided to make the loon’s eye red and did away with the state motto in favor of “Mni Sota Makoce,” the Dakota phrase Minnesota borrows its name from. They also chose not to include 1858 in the final design.

The commission planned to meet again on Friday to further discuss design variants. They have until Jan. 1 to submit their final designs. When that’s done, the new state flag will start flying on Minnesota’s statehood day, May 13.