The North Star Flag
A PROPOSAL FOR A NEW MINNESOTA STATE FLAG
Since 1989 efforts have been made to adopt a new Minnesota state flag. This website includes reasons for adopting a new flag, information on the current flag, and various new proposals. The North Star flag pictured above was voted "best overall" in an unofficial contest sponsored by the Saint Paul Pioneer Press.
The star recalls the state motto chosen by the pioneers, "L'etoile du Nord" ("The North Star"). The blue stripe represents our lakes and rivers. The white stripe represents winter. The green stripe represents our farmland and forests. Gold represents our state's natural wealth. The 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.)
This flag reflects the basic symbolism of the current state flag (1957), in a redesigned form and style. 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 flag. The star is 5-pointed, in keeping with U.S. tradition and past state flags. Its prominence and gold color reflect the "Great Star" pattern in past state flags.
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 design: no clutter from words, complex seals, etc.
- iconic: unique pattern, evocative northern colors, instinctive symbolism
- highly distinctive among state & national flags
- inclusive of Indian & pioneer legacies
- praised by state newspapers, and experts who have designed modern national flags
- timeless: rooted in our heritage but open to the future
- symbolic: uses timelong principles of heraldry & flag graphics
- proven: the only alternative Minnesota flag in actual use for years
Heritage & HeraldryThe 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. The flag uses instinctive northern colors often seen in Minnesota flags, banners, and logos.
flag designed by Rev. William Becker (Plainview) & Lee Herold (Rochester)
top flag sewn by Loreen Ingvalson; nature watercolor composed by Sally Gerhart