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


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Senator Oliver at the State Capitol  (St. Paul Pioneer Press, February 20, 2002)

Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Published Tuesday, February 29, 2000
"Interest flagging, so senator wants new state emblem"
 by Conrad deFiebre / Star Tribune   

As far as Sen. Ed Oliver is concerned, one of Minnesota's chief official emblems is a bland old flag  and ought to be redesigned.

Oliver, R-Deephaven, called Monday for a legislative commission to study alternatives to the century-old Minnesota flag featuring the state seal on a blue background.

"Our flag may be too complex," he said, noting that it is flown in few places besides the State Capitol. "Down in Texas you see stateflags flying everywhere. This is worth a lot."

For one thing, Oliver said, the Minnesota flag violates a key design tenet because words on the seal appear backwards on the reverse side. He suggested that a streamlined flag for the 21st century could prominently feature a single North Star, the state symbol. The current flag is cluttered with 19 stars (for the 19th state) and three dates (first white settlement, 1819; statehood, 1858; and first flag, 1893).

A bipartisan flag-redesign initiative by former state Reps. Wayne Simoneau and Gil Gutknecht 10 years ago went nowhere. But Oliver isn't deterred by that. He's already imagining a gala introduction for a new stateflag on national television during a future Monday Night Football game at the Metrodome.

"There are certainly more pressing issues than thinking about changing our flag," he said. "But America is a very flag-conscious nation, and this could give our state increased pride and awareness."

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