Skip to main content

Local design considered for new state flag

Luverne resident Andrew Prekker entered three designs for the new state flag. He found out last week that the State Emblems Redesign Committee selected one of his designs as a finalist. Submitted Photo
Luverne resident Andrew Prekker entered three designs for the new state flag. He found out last week that the State Emblems Redesign Committee selected one of his designs as a finalist. Submitted Photo
Mavis Fodness

Andrew Prekker said fate played a part in how his design remains in the running for the new Minnesota State Flag.

Last week Prekker’s design was one of six chosen by the State Emblems Redesign Commission as finalists.

One will become the new state flag.

“To say I’m surprised is an understatement,” Prekker said. “I’m still pinching myself.”

His flag design journey began a few months ago when he stumbled across “Minnesotans for a better flag” online. He was immediately intrigued and with his iPad designed a state flag that he shared with the group.

“About a week later the official Minnesota redesign commission was announced, and it felt like fate,” he said.

Prekker, 24, submitted three original flag designs by the Oct. 30 deadline.

His first flag design, No. F1953, was selected for the final six of the original 2,123 flag submissions to be considered Nov. 21.

Prekker said he created more than 40 variations before selecting his final three designs.

“It took me about 10 hours of combined research, graphic design, and asking advice from vexillologist groups (experts on flag designs) before I landed on my current flag design,” he said.

Prekker said he participated in the state flag redesign for several reasons.

“Minnesota’s original flag is a complex seal on a blue background and is almost indistinguishable from 20 other Midwestern state flags of the same design,” he said.

“But also, the imagery featured on the original flag, of an indigenous person leaving the land while a colonizer farms it, is a problematic representation of our state.”

Prekker said he’s glad Minnesota’s flag is being redesigned.

“It’s not a unifying symbol for everyone, and I wanted to create a flag that our indigenous communities and Tribal Nations could see representation in as well,” he said.

Prekker explained his flag design as:

In navy is the abstract shape of Minnesota. A white northern star represents our state's motto: L'etoile du Nord, meaning “star of the north” and also represents a symbol of unity above a land of diversity.

“The three colors on the right signify important aspects to Minnesota history and culture: the white stripe symbolizes snow; the green stripe represents the beauty of our nature and also the important role agriculture has played in our history; and the light blue stripe represents the significance of water to our state, each as the land of 10,000 lakes, the birth state of the Mississippi River, and the origins of Minnesota’s name – which came from the Dakota Sioux language – and translates to “a place of sky-tinted water.”

“Overall, I wanted the design to be very simple while also symbolizing the various important aspects of our history, culture, and people.”

The redesign commission will select the new official state flag and seal (or a modified version) no later than Jan. 1 and present it to legislators. If they agree, the new flag and state seal will be unveiled on May 11, Statehood Day.

No compensation or rewards are given to the chosen flag or seal selections.

Just seeing their designs in use for decades on official paperwork or flying from flagpoles is the only compensation.

Prekker said he’s enjoyed the creative process, whether or not his design is chosen for the next state flag.

“I started this as a fun project by myself in my bedroom with no expectation of it going anywhere,” he said.

“Now that it’s in reach, I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude and honor. This is an amazing opportunity, and regardless of the outcome, I’m so privileged to be a part of it in any way.”

The State Emblems Redesign Commission was established in the 2023 legislative session to develop and adopt a new design for the official state seal and new design for the official flag.

As outlined in state legislation, the Minnesota Historical Society is providing support to the commission.

The current state flag features a modified version of the state seal on a medium blue background.

The flag was first adopted in 1893, significantly revised in 1957 with minor updates in 1983.

The state flag and seal have come under growing criticism for their depiction of Minnesota’s settlement by Europeans and omittance of the violence committed against Indigenous people.

You must log in to continue reading. Log in or subscribe today.