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The North Star Flag



Since 1989, efforts to redesign the Minnesota state flag have been underway. This website is officially devoted to the Minnesota North Star Flag, which preserves the basic symbolism of the current state flag in a simplified form and style:

  • The star recalls the state motto of the pioneers, "L'etoile du Nord" ("The North Star").
  • Waves represent our state's Native American name, "mnisota" – meaning "sky-tinted water," or "cloudy water." (Natives demonstrated it to early 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.

Thus, echoing the current flag's symbolism, the Pioneer legacy is represented by the North Star, the Indian legacy is represented by the waves ("mnisota"), and 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, 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 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.

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
  • highly distinctive among state & national flags; a recognizable "brand"
  • 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 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 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 (any size) at:
Herold Flags (durable nylon)
Amazon (midweight polyester)
Amazon (lightweight polyester)
eBay (lightweight polyester)

For reflective decals, visit:
Herold Flags

For apparel & souvenir items, visit:
Cafe Press
State Traditions

For (current) design schematics, visit:
"Draft Specifications"

For (older) digital images (any size), visit:

Print Resources:
North Star Flag Flyer (PDF)

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

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

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:

Locations shown here include: Bemidji, Blaine, Falcon Heights, Golden Valley, Hopkins, Lake City, Minneapolis, Plainview, Richfield, Rochester, St. Paul, the State Capitol, Winona, Zumbrota; & Afghanistan, Atlanta GA, Boca Raton FL, Portland OR, Racine WI, St. Petersburg FL; & some unknown.

BUY A NORTH STAR FLAG (any size) at:
Herold Flags (durable nylon)
Amazon (midweight polyester)
Amazon (lightweight polyester)
eBay (lightweight polyester)

(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.

It grows on you Ė 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 Herald proposed an alternative called the North Star Flag which I think meets all the criteria to be a successful symbol for the state Ö. 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.

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 Either way 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.

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?

Thanks for the flag. I love the design.

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.

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.

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.

My favorite flag Iíve ever seen.

My favorite Minnesota redesign.

North Star Flag all the way!

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 used to feel pretty ambivalent to the North Star Flag ... But you know, seeing all these pictures of it, I've come to really like it.

I like it! Much better than the current one.

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.

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

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

I love the design.

Itís time to adopt a new flag. To be specific: the north star flag.

The North Star flag is great, I'm just confused as why it's taking so long to adopt it.

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.

Love that flag. Really hope it becomes official sometime.

Very nice flag.

This proposal for Minnesota looks real sharp.

King of the redesigns.

Still prefer Minnesotaís North Star Flag [over other redesigns].

Great flag.


Got the best MN redesign on my Hydroflask ...

MN what the h*** are you waiting for? You have a great design ready to go!

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.

We need the North Star Flag!!

Man we need to go to the North Star Flag.

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? [Note: at Herold Flags]

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.

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!

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 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]. 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.

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

I didnít know that legislators in the past proposed a new Minnesota state flag. I like it!

Minnesota has a beautiful [alternative] flag design that no one [in the legislature] will agree to use.

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.

Apparently our ancestors in 1989 debated this also Ö This is their design. P.S.: Works for me.

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.

This is a cool proposal for a redesigned MN state flag Ö. Itís a pretty classic design for a flag.

The proposal is better because it is not generic, which the current flag is.

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

North Star!

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.

jim's house