The North Star Flag
A PROPOSAL FOR A NEW MINNESOTA STATE FLAG


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MINNESOTA "NORTH STAR FLAG"

Efforts to redesign the Minnesota State Flag have been underway for years. This website is officially devoted to the North Star Flag, depicting the North Star shining upon a land of "sky-tinted waters":

  • The North Star recalls our state motto, L'ťtoile du Nord – which comes from the early pioneers.
  • Waves represent our name, Minnesota – which comes from the Dakota-Sioux phrase for "sky-tinted water," or "cloudy water." (Natives demonstrated it to settlers by dropping a little milk into water.)
  • Blue recalls our "sky-tinted" lakes and rivers. White recalls our winters. Green represents our farmland and forests. Gold recalls our state's natural wealth.

The North Star Flag preserves the basic symbolism of the current state flag in a simplified form and style. The star reflects our Pioneer legacy (the state motto), the wavy field reflects our Indian legacy (the state name), and together they represent the ongoing interplay between "natives and newcomers" in our state. The northern colors reflect the scenic waterways, farmland, and forests in the current flag. The star is 5-pointed, in keeping with U.S. tradition and official Minnesota flags. Its prominence and gold color reflect the "Great Star" pattern also found in the legal state flag.

The North Star Flag was proposed in 1989 by two flag specialists, and won an unofficial contest sponsored by the Saint Paul Pioneer Press in 2001. It has since become an alternate state flag for many Minnesotans, and remains emblematic of desires for a new state flag. Its design is dedicated to the Public Domain (for vector art, click here).

Like other effective state flags,
the Minnesota North Star Flag is...
  • highly visible when flying at a distance
  • simple to remember, sketch, or apply to common items
  • clean of clutter from words, complex seals, etc.
  • an iconic design with instinctive symbolism & parallels
  • highly distinctive among state & national flags; a recognizable "brand"
  • respectful of both Indian & pioneer legacies, without privileging any ethnicity
  • praised by state newspapers & experts who have designed national flags
  • timeless: rooted in our heritage but open to our future
  • symbolic: uses time-honored principles of heraldry & flag graphics
  • proven: the only alternative Minnesota flag with actual traction

Heritage & Heraldry

The North Star Flag symbolically illustrates the state name ("mnisota," or "sky-tinted water") and motto ("The North Star") – a technique called "canting heraldry." Since the name comes from the Indian natives, and the motto from the pioneer settlers, both founding legacies are duly honored – but with symbolism open to all people and generations. The flag's evocative northern colors appear statewide in various flags and emblems. The flag also avoids the problems associated with the current state flag and seal.


BUY A NORTH STAR FLAG

at Herold Flags
(durable nylon flags, all sizes, made in USA)

Other Merchandise
(apparel, souvenirs, decals, & lightweight flags)


Vector Art:
Specifications
("30th Anniversary" edition, 2019)

Older Digital Images:
Wikipedia
(Note: older version)

Print Resources:
North Star Flag Flyer (PDF)

Video Resources:
Redesigning Minnesota's Flag (TPT Almanac, PBS, 2018)
Roman Mars on flag design (TED Talk, 2015)
North Star Flag at MNUFC
Flag Waver (Digital Animation)

More support:
North Star Movement (Twitter)
Minnesotans for a Better Flag (Website)
Minnesotans for a better flag (Facebook)

Credits & Website Sponsors:
North Star Flag designed in 1989 by
Rev. William Becker (Plainview)
& Mr. Lee Herold (Rochester)

For information, contact:
heroldlee@aol.com
wbecker@smumn.edu

The North Star Flag design & Vector Art herein
is dedicated to the Public Domain

Send us your photo, and share it on social media: #NorthStarFlag
Locations shown here include: Bemidji, Blaine, Coon Rapids, Falcon Heights, Golden Valley, Hopkins, Kellogg, Lake City, McGregor, Minneapolis, Plainview, Richfield, Rochester, St. Cloud, St. Paul, the State Capitol, Winona, Zumbrota; & Afghanistan, Atlanta GA, Boca Raton FL, Boston MA, Portland OR, Racine WI, St. Petersburg FL, Spartanburg SC; & some unknown.

TRIBUTES     
(select quotes from social media, etc.)     

The first time I saw your North Star Flag my first thought was, ďWhy is this not already our state flag?Ē Itís clean, powerful and inspiring. Thank you! Iíve seen quite a few ideas that are kicking around online Ö but none of them match the original.

Itís nice that the flag includes both the Europeansí motto and the Indian name. Supporters of this flag, donít give up!

IMO the North Star flag that's been around as a proposal since the 80s has long been the consensus for a replacement and feels the most like it could be accepted quickly. It's also a d*** good design. Unique, obvious symbolism, easy to interpret from a distance, etc. I'd like to see us adopt that one ....

[Re: the wavy pattern] I like that it's a relatively simple element that's unique (i.e., appears on very few other flags). I also think it's kinda necessary to use a shape to indicate water if you're going to color it white, and I like coloring it white since that's where the state's name comes from (Dakota for "cloudy water").

On the "North Star" flag I like the "wavy fessĒ symbol for water. Most flags have geometric straight lines. It's more distinctive to include curves or jagged edges indicative of nature.

It's probably the most famous and popular redesign of the Minnesota state flag, it's iconic and is slowly gaining traction.

The more I see it, the more I like it!

I really love the flag design. I hope it eventually replaces our current design Ö. I have also looked at the other proposed versions, many I liked but this one has the most traction, it's simple and unique. That's why I'm going to fly it outside my house during the state fair this year and get lots of eyeballs on it. [Note: from a couple listing the flag on their wedding registry wish-list]

As a good flag with an actual support movement behind it, the North Star Flag would do an excellent job representing Minnesota.

It's the design that's been in circulation since 1989 and might very well be the leading candidate to replace Minnesota's current flag.

In 1989, William Becker and Lee Herold proposed an alternative called the North Star Flag which I think meets all the criteria to be a successful symbol for the state …. My recommendation is to go with ... [that] flag.

The North Star Flag is so much better [than the current flag]. It's been around for 30 years now and it's still getting new plaudits. [elsewhere:] A flag with a 30 year history. I hope it's time is coming. So long in the build-up I think its backers are due a giant break.

Nice! More people "represented" by a terrible flag are waking up and embracing great designs. Looks like Minnesota is no exception. Also, see how easy it is to identify? Not a chance you could identify the current Ö flag that fast Ö That's traction Ö When you get that much take-up then the tide has turned and itís a lock-in day-facto cert to become the number one option when change really happens.

Ethnically neutral, represents the climate and the terrain and speaks out to the culture as a whole.

This flag design is amazing imo. It captures the natural beauty of our land in one simplistic arrangement. It demonstrates the land, the forests, the snow, the lakes, the ďNorth StarĒÖ Itís without a doubt better than our current blue flag with the big ugly (and historically racist) seal.

Strongly in favor of [the North Star Flag]. Simple, handsome, nice colors .... I would also add "evocative". The North Star is a longtime symbol of the state, & to me, the wavy border suggests rivers and fresh water.

My personal opinion is that the "North Star Flag" is the best option. It's clean. It's been reviewed (no offending colors, or symbols). It's been manufactured (call Herold Flags if you'd like to buy one). [Same writer elsewhere:] Clean. Simple. It got high praise from the designer of the Canadian Flag. It won a [Pioneer Press contest]. Most everything is a variation on it.

This has been and will continue to be my favorite MN flag design. Simple. Symbolic. Unique. [elsewhere:] North Star flag ftw. [elsewhere:] The original and still the best. Hanging in my apartment window in Boston.

Got my new flag up and flying! I mean, we can all agree a flag change is loooong overdue. So why not this awesome one?

We fly the north star flag at our house in northern township [rural Bemidji].

I'm a huge fan of the North Star flag; in fact, I bought one years ago ... [same writer:] I love that flag. A couple of months ago, I e-mailed the shop I got it from and they still sell them.

What are those sweet flags in [section] 102? They look like the Cascadian and Texan flags had a crazy love child flag and chopped the Doug[las] Fir out. [Portland Timber fan admiring the North Star Flag in Portland.]

[Responding to above admirer:] MN North Star Flag, which should be the official state flag Ö You can read about it from the designer. If you call these folks up to order a flag ... you'll talk to the designer of the flag, talk about the weather, and get a hand-written thank you note. It's sweet and reminds me very much of back home.

Today a lady ... asked for a Minnesota State flag. When handed one she said "what's this? I don't have my glasses!" And we showed her the North Star Flag and she said "that's much better. I'll take two!"

I myself plan on bringing my new North Star flag to the [MNUFC] game today and well into the future.

Respect to whoever that is, flying the North Star Flag. That should be our state flag.

For anyone interested in raising awareness about this issue, you can order a North Star flag ... from Herold Flags in Rochester. We fly one outside our house; it's always a great conversation starter and helps get people on-board with the idea of changing the flag ...

As a Minnesotan who's been looking for a place to buy a North Star flag for forever, thanks so much!

I like this one. Created in 1989 to challenge the current. [Reply] I didnít realize that that design was that old. [Response] As soon as the North Star Flags are back in stock I'm buying one. [Note: theyíre in stock!]

[from Florida:] The current Minnesota flag is too bland to fly, so we use the North Star [Flag] to let people know weíre from Minnesota.

I was so impressed Ö that I bought one and am flying it daily. I also presented it as a resolution at the Republican Caucus.

Great looking flag - my son loves it and is going to hang it in his dorm room. Thanks!

A well thought solution to Minnesota's lackluster state flag.

Beautiful, simple, significant and unique.

This flag is fantastic!

Holy smokes the alternate minnesota flag is awesome

Whoa, North Star MN flag. Cool.

I would love a new flag, and the "North Star Flag" shown above is a great design.

Got the best MN redesign on my Hydroflask ... [Response:] What flag is this a redesign of? It looks really nice! [Reply:] It's a proposed redesign of the Minnesota Flag that dates back to 1989. It's often called the North Star Flag.

Yeah, that's the one I love. My favorite flag Iíve ever seen.

My favorite Minnesota redesign. [Same writer:] Love that flag. Really hope it becomes official sometime.

I'd love to see Golden Gopher FB wear unis with the Ö "North Star" flag!

Thatís really beautiful. Hard to pull off something that abstract, but it really worked.

I think that would be a vast improvement, and a very good state flag.

The most beautiful flag Iíve ever seen, and Iíve seen a lot of flags in different countries. Itís just not like the other ones; itís uplifting; itís just gorgeous.

Wow Ö I like that a lot more than the official flag. [Reply:] Yeah. Everyone does.

Itís time to adopt a new flag. To be specific: the north star flag. [same writer:] We support the North Star Flag. Bless this flag!

The North Star flag is great, I'm just confused as why it's taking so long to adopt it. [same writer:] Where can I buy the North Star Flag? [Note: at Herold Flags]

It follows all the design rules of a good flag. I agree that it's much better than our current flag. I'm not sure what it would take to get a new state flag, but I'm all for it.

This flag changing effort is the biggest Iíve seen so far - the North Star flag was originally designed in 1989. Iím a big fan of this one, especially the blue/white/green color scheme.

Minnesota would be #2 [among state flags, behind Maryland] if they adopted this SWEET A** flag that I see all the time at MNUFC games.

All these ideas [i.e. proposed redesigns] are great and I have made some of my own but in the end I think this really is the best one.

Here's a good flag design that everybody in the vexillology community is gathering around. It's the proposed North Star flag. [elsewhere:] It's morphed into sort of a people's flag.

As fun as the nordic cross is, I like the north star flag. Simple, clean, no call back to one specific ethnic group.

Wonder what the largest North Star Flag I can get is Ö [answer: 6x10 feet, currently]

I supported that design in the '80s, and I still support it today. It's sad that MN still hasn't adopted this design.

It looks as iconic as Arizona's or Colorado's.

I wish our state flag was the green and blue one. [Reply:] They really are the best colors.

What flag is pictured lower center? The blue, white, green with yellow star. [Reply:] The blue white and green one is an alternate version of the Minnesota state flag. [Response:] Thanks! I thought it would be the state flag, but Google showed the traditional one. This one is much nicer!

The North Star flag is Ö easier to identify from a distance, and since it's a new flag that's currently popular with one of our sports teams, it can brand itself.

I don't like any of the designs suggested [at change.org]. There's already been a MUCH better ... proposed design circulating since 1989, in the form of William Becker's and Lee Herold's North Star Flag.

Blue Sky and Water, White Snow, Green Trees and Fields, and a Guiding Star. I have loved this design for years. I would vote for it in a second.

This North Star Flag has been proposed as a new state flag for years. I'd really be happy if that became our new flag.

Much better than the official MN state flag. Perfect out front.

How the **** have I never seen or heard of this? This is the best flag Iíve ever seen.

The North Star Flag has been around since the late 80s. It's one of the most viable replacement state flags out there. I love seeing it here.

I live on a street in Minneapolis that alot of people walk by, I just put up this BEAUTIFUL flag yesterday Ö

I've actually seen several of these flying in front of houses in NE Mpls this summer.

I'm such a traditionalist, you know why fix what ain't broke, but I like the North Star flag.

I’ve always liked the ďNorth StarĒ flag that has been proposed

It should be a version of the north star flag. [reply:] Iíve been saying this for years. [response to news story about possible flag change]

North Star flag, pleeeaase! Already have seen fonts using this for the MN flag emoji.

Bring back this proposed change from the 80's. [reply:] Yes!

Whoever that is flying the North Star banner, you're my hero. Now let's get #mnleg to make that our state flag. [elsewhere:] As a new #mnleg session approaches, a reminder of my pet issue: adopt the North Star Flag for Minnesota! [elsewhere:] Who will be the #mnleg member brave enough to lead the way on changing our flag to this?

I came across this concept for a new Minnesota state flag from 1989 known as the "North Star Flag". (anyone know if they sell these anywhere?) [Response] I'm a big fan of this flag, and have bought one in the past; Herold Flags sells them.

Where did you get those North Star flags? I'd love to buy one. [Response] I ordered them by phone from Herold Flags in Rochester, MN. They're 3'x5' and were the perfect size for waving in the fan section. We had quite a few (all positive) comments, that by the final game day of the tournament, I think we just resorted to calling them the Minnesota Battle Flag.

The North Star Flag is an aesthetically excellent, inclusive flag with none of the baggage or limitations of even a Nordic cross-inspired design.

W[h]ere the **** do you buy that Minnesota flag

Neat to see that the North Star flag getting used. It's a really lovely design.

[Re: change.org petition designs] This article seems to forget about this [North Star Flag] idea that has wide popularity. I just noticed most previous commenters agree with me.

Blue and green may be the dominant popular state colors, but yellow or gold is never far away, and the balance among the three is why I love the North Star Flag so much.

If I still lived in Minnesota I would vote for the North Star Flag (the blue white green one)

Right now, the North Star flag is the undisputed frontrunner.

I tried working with legislature 12 years ago to get the flag changed (to this one) ....

I told a pal today: MN would automatically be in the top 5 state flags if they adopted the North Star Flag. Itís gorgeous.

The Seward [city in Alaska] flag is Ö similar in detail to the ďNorth Star FlagĒ proposal for a new Minnesota state flag, and if that excellent but unadopted design influenced [it] at all, I say kudos.

For thirty years #Minnesota has had an excellent alternative #flag sitting patiently waiting to be adopted. Called the #NorthStarFlag itís become popular with many people in the state, just not enough politicians... yet!

I think [the wavy stripe] gives it character.

It feels optimistic, the design; feels kind of cheery.

Minnesota's flag is awful, but there is a better option.... [elsewhere:] Iíd adopt the North Star Flag for Minnesota [elsewhere:] The North Star Flag is where itís at.

Itís very representative of the state, and looks really nice from a distance, or from either side, or turned on end. It would be a good way to come into the 21st century with a new symbol for the state. I really do think this is a beautiful design, and I would be happy with it.

I think this flag is awesome! I love the simplicity and symbolism of this design.

Time for Minnesota to officially adopt the North Star flag design that was proposed in the 80's that MNUFC fans have been using for a few years now.

Plenty of people have already redesigned the Minnesota flag, and they've made some very good designs. The most successful of these proposals is the fantastic North Star Flag.

I would be happy if my state adopted … the north star flag.

The first thing [to] do is change the lame old Minnesota state flag to this awesome design.

It has grown tremendously in popularity recently, as Minnesotans seek to express our unique identity.

Herold Flags had a customer order the current Minnesota flag this weekend, and he brought it back because he didn't like the design. What did he trade it for? The North Star Flag!

Itís very Cascadia meets Midwest. I like it!

Iím still a huge fan of the North Star Flag.

The flag looks great! We couldnít be happier. Thank you.

YASS! North Star Flag here we come!

Any time I show your design to people here in Arizona, the response is always positive. It's attractive, and it makes sense to folks here.

Congrats! Itís such a strong looking flag. Given our bumpy road the last month, a new official flag would be a beautiful reboot!

Dear #mnleg friends: making this our Minnesota state flag is long overdue. [elsewhere:] New addition at the cabin. Sad that Minnesota still has one of the most stunningly lame state flags in the nation, but Iíve adopted the North Star flag as an official symbol of my home state and encourage others to do so.

Iím 100% on board with this. Our [official] flag is terrible. This flag is superb. [elsewhere:] that flag, which Iíd never seen, is dope. Letís get a petition going.

Say what you want, but it's a distinctive design. Also, I just got mine in the mail this week.

Awesome. I am absolutely in support of this, and I've written my state legislators about it. The North Star flag is gorgeous (and I love the version that's waved at MN United soccer matches).

Minnesota has considered flag redesign in the past...better be this

Itís distinctive. It makes good use of space. It has no writing or human figures on it. Itís simple and easy to draw. It has no details that canít be seen from a distance. Itís an ideal flag. The flag even succeeds in representing Minnesotaís native inhabitants in a way that doesnít involve blatant stereotyping.

Click here for more tributes and photos ...

jim's house

lenagh watercolor

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