State Watch

Utah referendum to overturn new state flag fails

An attempt to undo the replacement of Utah’s new state flag has failed, with the petition only garnering about a third of the required signatures.

Opponents to the new flag needed 134,000 signatures to put a referendum on the November ballot, but they only received less than 50,000. The petition’s organizers plan to continue their new flag opposition.

“We are looking forward to further conversation about this issue,” Chad Saunders told the Salt Lake Tribune. “We knew it was going to be an uphill battle. The law is not set up to succeed. You have to pitch an almost perfect game.”

“This wasn’t the end of the conversation. It’s just the start. We want to find a workable solution to this,” Saunders added.

But Saunders didn’t tell the Tribune what that “workable solution” was.

Utah got a new flag last month — a more modern beehive design with representations of mountains — to replace the old design of the state seal on a blue background.

The new flag has been met with rave reviews by vexillologists, those who study and enjoy flags, as the old design was one of what they call “SOBs” or “seal on a bedsheet” flags, regarded as the worst kind of flag.

Delegates at the Utah Republican Convention are set to vote on a resolution on whether to keep the old flag, though it is unclear if it has a chance to pass and Convention votes are non-binding.

The new flag is planned to be fully implemented by next year.

“Today, we can finally say that the procedural process of adopting the new flag is complete,” wrote state Sen. Daniel McCay, a supporter of the old flag. “As we turn this page in our history, I’m aware there are passionate feelings on both sides of this issue. With citizen input and an assist from the Governor, we will preserve Utah’s historic state flag and fix its place at Utah’s Capitol so that our history lives on.”

Tags Utah

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