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Hold off on state flag celebration; latecomers to the game have finally weighed in

Star Herald Editorial

We in Luverne have been proud of our local artist, Andrew Prekker, who submitted the winning proposal for Minnesota’s new state flag. Of more than 2,000 proposals, his was used as the base for the final flag design.

It was a process that started more than four months ago with the goal of having the new flag and emblem in the State Capitol buildings by May 11, which is Statehood Day.

Why did we need a new flag? The current design was inspired by a poem that says, “Give way, young warrior, thou and thy steed give way,” and boasts that settlers have taken control of the land, The white man claims them now.” (How many of us even knew this before last fall?)

The flag redesign commission was assembled with both Republican and D-FL leaders and diverse voices who engaged in dozens of intense meetings to consider the thousands of potential graphics.

Deliberations were highly publicized and widely shared.

Minnesota was getting a new flag, and we could all be part of the process. No fewer than 20,000 citizens shared their comments and opinions as part of the public process.

For those of us with misgivings about changing our flag and emblem, that would have been the time to speak up.

But in true arm-chair quarterback style, many observed the process from the sidelines and now are weighing in (criticizing) the process.

For example, four (so far) Minnesota counties, including our neighbors to the east, Nobles County, have adopted resolutions rejecting the new design. Some legislators are complaining about the cost of replacing old flags, and others say we’re “erasing history.”

They are valid concerns, but where were these voices four months ago when feedback was sought?

Of course, we at the Star Herald are proud to have one of our own Rock County residents design the new flag, but we also support the process as it played out.

Public input was sought four months ago, and dissenting opinions should have been shared then.

We respect those dissenting opinions, but we respectfully decline to consider them so long after the game is over.

Meanwhile in Rock County, we at the Star Herald will celebrate our local winning flag proposal and the thoughtful process that went into it.

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