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What Is the History of Utah's State Flag?

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  • Written By: S. Ashraf
  • Edited By: Kaci Lane Hindman
  • Last Modified Date: 09 September 2016
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The history of Utah’s state flag begins in 1903 when the governor commissioned the Utah State Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (USDR) to design a flag for him to take to the 1904 St. Louis World Fair. Accordingly, the USDR designed a flag that consisted of the Utah State Seal embroidered on a blue background. Each member contributed one dollar to pay for the construction of the flag, and a member of the chapter embroidered the design on Utah silk. Due to various legal errors and design mistakes, the legislature did not adopt Utah’s state flag until 1911. Since then, some additional legislative adjustments have needed to be made as a result of stitching errors made during the manufacturing process in both 1913 and 1922.

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Later in 1903, the USDR discovered that an error had been made in the drawing and embroidery of the State Seal on the flag. At the same time, it was brought to the attention of the governor and the USDR that for a flag to be considered Utah’s state flag, the design and construction needed the approval of the legislature rather than just acceptance by the governor. For this reason, what was thought to be Utah’s state flag could only be considered the governor’s regimental flag. Utah was just admitted to the Union in 1896, which helped cause the confusion over process. A local artist corrected the error in the drawing of the State Seal, and the flag was finally recognized by the legislature as Utah’s state flag.

In 1912, a different organization, the Sons and Daughters of Utah Pioneers, asked an eastern firm to make a custom copy of the new flag for the members to present to the battleship USS Utah. The flag arrived with errors: the company had added color to part of the Seal and placed a gold circle around it, making it no longer the flag approved by the legislature. Rather than return the flag, the organization persuaded the legislature to pass a bill allowing the changes in the flag design to become part of the official state flag. This accidentally redesigned flag was adopted by the legislature as the state flag in 1913.

Then in 1922, another manufacturer made an error that placed a date in an incorrect position on the flag. Every flag since 1922 has been made with that error. In 2011, legislation was passed requiring flag makers to fix this error on every Utah state flag.

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Izzy78
Post 2

@titans62 - I have noticed that coincidence and have seen various instances in which the Daughters of the American Revolution have been involved in the creation of a state's flag.

I would think that there is something behind this and it could be that this was a powerful activist historical group at this time in American history and I am not surprised if they involved themselves in such ventures, that have little political implications, but have press implications and can give a lot of attention to their organization.

This particular organization has a very historical sense in regards to American history and it would not surprise me if they were the one organization that held a monopoly on the state flag creations during this time.

titans62
Post 1

It seems to me like the Daughters of the American Revolution play a big role in the design of many of the state flags for the United States of America.

I have heard of numerous instances in which the Daughters of the American Revolution have been involved in the design and adoption of state flags and these all seemed to occur around the same time period, which was between 1900 to 1930.

I was wondering if there was some kind of movement by the Daughters of the American Revolution around this particular time period to simply try to design and petition the states governments to create state flags or if this is just a coincidence?

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