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


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BUY A NORTH STAR FLAG (any size) at:
Herold Flags (durable)
Amazon (lightweight).

Since 1989, efforts have been made to redesign the Minnesota state flag. This website is officially devoted to the North Star Flag (pictured above), and includes problems with the current legal flag, the advantages of adopting a new flag, and various other design proposals.

The North Star Flag preserves the basic symbolism of the current state flag (1957), in a redesigned form and style:

  • The star recalls the state motto of the pioneers, "L'etoile du Nord" ("The North Star").
  • Waves represent the state name, "minisota" - a Native American name which means "sky-tinted water," or “cloudy water.” (Natives demonstrated it to early settlers by dropping milk into water.)
  • Blue represents our "sky-tinted" lakes and rivers. White recalls our winters. Green represents our farmland and forests. Gold recalls our state's natural wealth.

Thus, the Pioneer legacy is represented by the North Star, the Indian legacy is represented by the waves ("minisota"), and its northern colors reflect the waterways, farmland, and forests pictured in the current legal flag. The star is 5-pointed, in keeping with U.S. tradition, as well as current and previous state 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 was voted "best overall" in 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.

Like other effective state flags,
the 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
  • highly distinctive among state & national flags
  • respectful of both Indian & pioneer legacies
  • 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 in actual use for years

Heritage & Heraldry

The North Star Flag symbolically illustrates the state name ("minnesota," 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 legacies are duly honored - but with symbolism open to all people and generations (unlike the state seal on the current flag). The flag's evocative northern colors appear statewide in various flags and emblems.


BUY A NORTH STAR FLAG (any size) at:
Herold Flags (durable)
Amazon (lightweight).

For apparel & souvenir items visit:
Cafe Press
Zazzle
Amazon
State Traditions

For digital images (any size), visit:
Wikipedia

Print Resources:
North Star Flag Flyer (PDF)

For video resources, visit:
Redesigning Minnesota's Flag (PBS News, 2018)
Roman Mars on flag design (TED Talk, 2015)
North Star Flag at MNUFC (gif)
North Star Flag & "Wonderwall"
Flag Waver

More support online at:
North Star Movement
#NewMNFlag
"Minnesotans for a better flag"

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

The North Star Flag design is dedicated to the Public Domain.

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

TRIBUTES     
(Social Media, etc.)     

The first time I saw your North Star Flag my first thought was, “Why is this not already our state flag?” It’s clean, powerful and inspiring. Thank you! I’ve seen quite a few ideas that are kicking around online … but none of them match the original.

My favorite Minnesota redesign.

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?

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 damn 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 fess” symbol for water. Most flags have geometric straight lines. It's more distinctive to include curves or jagged edges indicative of nature.

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

Beautiful, simple, significant and unique.

This flag is fantastic!

My favorite flag I’ve ever seen.

North Star Flag all the way!

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

I really love the flag design. I hope it eventually replaces our current design. I would love to add it to my rotation on our house with my Saint Paul flag! [Note: from a couple who listed 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.

That’s 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.

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

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 … You can read about it from the designer. If you call these folks up to order a flag (they don't do fancy-shmancy online orders), 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.

The most beautiful flag I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen a lot of flags in different countries. It’s just not like the other ones; it’s uplifting; it’s just gorgeous.

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 … flag that fast … That's traction … When you get that much take-up then the tide has turned and it’s a lock-in day-facto cert to become the number one option when change really happens.

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 Herald 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.

My favorite thing about this is that you're using the "North Star" flag for the national [sic] flag of Minnesota.

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

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

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

I love the design.

I like this one. Created in 1989 to challenge the current. [Reply] I didn’t realize that that design was that old. [Response] As soon as the North Star Flags are back in stock I'm buying one. [Note: they’re in stock!]

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

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

I've just seen it for a few seconds and it already looks over 20 times better than the current flag.

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.

Love that flag.

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).

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.

I like The North Star Flag as well.

Here's a good flag design that everybody in the vexillology community is gathering around. It's the proposed North Star flag.

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

Where can I buy the North Star Flag?

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

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.

The design is "pretty good", high praise from any Minnesotan.

They should definitely adopt that flag.

It’s nice that the flag includes both the Europeans’ motto and the Indian name. Supporters of this flag, don’t give up!

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 “North Star”… Either way it’s without a doubt better than our current blue flag with the big ugly (and historically racist) seal.

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!

I'm not from Minnesota, but 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.

It's morphed into sort of a people's flag.

[T]his design is very strong and I think should be adopted.

The North Star Flag. Clean. Simple. It got high praise from the designer of the Canadian Flag. It won a Strib poll back in the late 80's [sic – Pioneer Press poll, 2001]. Most everything is a variation on it.

The North Star flag is … 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.

Definitely a fan of this flag.

This one is my favorite.

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

I like that north star flag a lot.

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.

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 ...


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