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Utah State FlagUtah State Flag

Adopted in 1913.

Each state in the country has customarily adopted a state Flag. Since the colonial Days of 1775 each state designed their flags to help distinguish the ideas and tradition of that particular state. The original Utah State Flag was adopted by the State Legislature in 1896 and revised in 1913.

The flag of the state of Utah was adopted in 1913 and consists of The Great Seal of the State of Utah encircled in a golden circle on a background of dark navy blue.

The Utah State Flag

Utah Flag of 1896

The original Utah state flag was adopted by the new state legislature in 1896. This flag consisted of a solid white depiction of The Great Seal of the State of Utah on a light blue background. This flag remained in service until the state legislature revised the statutes in 1913.

The original state flag was presented to Gov. Heber M. Wells in 1903 by the Utah State Society Daughters of the Revolution. According to the organization's minutes, Governor Wells asked the group to make the first state flag. The flag was made of Utah silk and embroidered by Agnes Teudt Fernelius. Each member of the USSDR contributed one dollar to help pay for it.

On October 16, 1903, it was reported at their meeting "that a mistake had been made in drawing the seal of our state on the flag which had been presented to the Governor of Utah in May last. The matter was then discussed at length after which a print of the state seal was examined to see where corrections should be made." It was found that "the flag made by Our Society which had been presented to and accepted by the Governor and his staff was in reality on the Governor's regimental flag. A state flag would in compliance with an act of the State legislature have to be made under direction of or by approval of said legislature."

They then took the flag to H.L.A. Culmer, an artist, "and had him correctly draw according to the proper perspective as nearly as possible to design of the State Seal on the before mentioned flag after which it had been taken to M.I. to be embroidered and further that it would be completed for inspection at the March meeting."

The governor wrote to them, "It will be my pleasure to display this flag upon every important occasion where the Governor's flag may be required, both at the World's Fair in St. Louis in celebration of the Louisiana Purchase and elsewhere during my incumbency."

This flag was used until 1913.

Utah Flag of 1913

In 1912, the Sons and Daughters of Utah Pioneers ordered a custom made copy of the newly adopted flag to be presented to the battleship USS Utah, which was commissioned on August 31, 1911. When the flag arrived, the group discovered that the shield on the flag was in full color instead of white, and the manufacturer had added a gold ring around the shield. Rather than have the flag remade, Annie Wells Cannon introduced HJR 1 and the Utah legislature changed the law to allow the changes found on the 1913 version to become part of the official flag. Prior to being received by the Ship on June 25, 1913, the new flag was displayed at the state capitol in January 1913, then in the ZCMI windows on Main Street and at a ball held in honor of the flag.

Symbolism: Explanation of the Symbols on Utah's State Flag

The Utah State Flag has a blue background with the State Seal inscribed in the center and is easily distinguished from other state flags.

  • American Eagle with wings outspread, grasping six arrows in its talons, symbolizes protection in peace and war.
  • Bee Hive is the symbol of hard work and industry.
  • Sego Lily is a symbol of peace.
  • Draped American Flag is the symbol of our support to the nation.
  • "1847" is the year the Mormon Pioneer entered the Salt Lake Valley.
  • "1896" is the year Utah was admitted as the 45th state (January 4, 1896).

The Utah state flag, as we know it today, was made the official flag of Utah when Gov. William Spry signed House Joint Resolution 1 in 1913 (Utah Code 63-13-5).

During the 59th state legislative session in 2011, a Concurrent Resolution (HCR002) was adopted requiring flag makers to fix a mistake found on all current Utah state flags. The mistake originated in 1922 when a flag maker misplaced the year 1847, by stitching it just above the year 1896, instead of in its correct position on the shield. It is believed every flag made since 1922 used this flag as a model, and the mistake has been present for 89 years. Later that same 2011 session, House Bill #490 passed the legislature, making March 9 an annual Utah State Flag day.

H.C.R. 2 Utah State Flag Concurrent Resolution

H.C.R. 2 Enrolled
UTAH STATE FLAG CONCURRENT RESOLUTION
2011 GENERAL SESSION 
STATE OF UTAH

Chief Sponsor: Julie Fisher
Senate Sponsor: Mark B. Madsen

LONG TITLE
General Description:
This concurrent resolution of the Legislature and the Governor recognizes that current state law accurately reflects the 1913 design of the official state flag and urges that all newly manufactured, official flags of the state of Utah accurately reflect the statutory description of the state flag.

Highlighted Provisions:
This resolution: recognizes that Utah Code Section 63G-1-501 accurately reflects the 1913 description of the official state flag of Utah; and urges manufacturers of state flags to modify the current design of the official flag of the state of Utah to accurately reflect the description of the flag as approved by the Utah Legislature in 1913.

Special Clauses:
None

Be it resolved by the Legislature of the state of Utah, the Governor concurring therein:

WHEREAS, the first Utah state flag was created in 1903 at the request of Governor Heber M. Wells;

WHEREAS, the Governor's request came by way of an invitation from the President of the St. Louis World's Fair to have a delegation from Utah travel to St. Louis and dedicate the site of the Utah Exhibit and have the state flag flown in a parade of the 45 states at the World's Fair;

WHEREAS, the Utah State Society of the Daughters of the Revolution responded to the Governor's request to sponsor the manufacture of the flag;

WHEREAS, the flag was presented to the Governor by the Society on March 31, 1903;

WHEREAS, alterations were made to the flag so that its appearance more closely reflected the official state seal from which the design was taken;

WHEREAS, the Society enlisted Utah artist H.L.A. Culmer to help seamstress and flag maker Agnes Teudt Fernelius in finalizing the design of the flag;

WHEREAS, on May 1, 1903, the Utah delegation to the St. Louis World's Fair marched proudly alongside the state's new flag in the Parade of States;

WHEREAS, the flag was formally referred to as the Governor's flag or the Governor's regimental flag until 1911, when the Legislature formally adopted its design as the official state flag;

WHEREAS, a second flag was finished in early 1913 and presented by the state to the battleship U.S.S. Utah on June 25, 1913;

WHEREAS, that same year, Representative Annie Wells Cannon successfully introduced House Joint Resolution 1, which established the current flag design reflected in statute;

WHEREAS, Utah Code Section 63G-1-501 describes the flag as, "a flag of blue field, fringed, with gold borders, with the following device worked in natural colors on the center of the blue field: The center a shield; above the shield and thereon an American eagle with outstretched wings; the top of the shield pierced with six arrows arranged crosswise; upon the shield under the arrows the word "Industry," and below the word "Industry" on the center of the shield, a beehive; on each side of the beehive, growing sego lilies; below the beehive and near the bottom of the shield, the word "Utah," and below the word "Utah" and on the bottom of the shield, the figures "1847"; with the appearance of being back of the shield there shall be two American flags on flagstaffs placed crosswise with the flag so draped that they will project beyond each side of the shield, the heads of the flagstaffs appearing in front of the eagle's wings and the bottom of each staff appearing over the face of the draped flag below the shield; below the shield and flags and upon the blue field, the figures "1896"; around the entire design, a narrow circle in gold";

WHEREAS, a third state flag was prepared in 1922 which mistakenly has the year 1847 beneath the shield instead of on the shield, and the error has been perpetuated to this day; and

WHEREAS, in the interest of accurately preserving a symbol of the state's rich history, and to follow the wording of Utah Code Section 63G-1-501 , all new flags should be made to reflect the statutory flag description and all Utah flags currently in use or in stock should be utilized until unserviceable:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature of the state of Utah, the Governor concurring therein, recognize that Utah Code Section 63G-1-501 accurately reflects the 1913 description of the official state flag of Utah.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature and the Governor urge manufacturers of the state flag to modify the current design of the official flag of the state of Utah to accurately reflect the description of the flag as approved by the Utah Legislature in 1913.

 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature and the Governor urge that all Utah flags be prepared in honor of past generations and for the benefit of present and future generations.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution be sent to Colonial Flag, Annin & Company, C.F. Flag, J.C. Schultz Enterprises, Inc. / FlagSource, Valley Forge Flag, Flag Zone, Quinn Flags, and to the Dixie Flag Manufacturing Company and North American Vexillological Association.

Utah Flag Law

Utah Code, Title 63, Chapter 13.

Title 63 - State Affairs in General
Chapter 13 - Miscellaneous Provisions
63-13-5. State flag.

The state flag of Utah shall be a flag of blue field, fringed, with gold borders, with the following device worked in natural colors on the center of the blue field:

The center a shield; above the shield and thereon an American eagle with outstretched wings; the top of the shield pierced with six arrows arranged crosswise; upon the shield under the arrows the word "Industry," and below the word "Industry" on the center of the shield, a beehive; on each side of the beehive, growing sego lilies; below the beehive and near the bottom of the shield, the word "Utah," and below the word "Utah" and on the bottom of the shield, the figures "1847"; with the appearance of being back of the shield there shall be two American flags on flagstaffs placed crosswise with the flag so draped that they will project beyond each side of the shield, the heads of the flagstaffs appearing in front of the eagle's wings and the bottom of each staff appearing over the face of the draped flag below the shield; below the shield and flags and upon the blue field, the figures "1896"; around the entire design, a narrow circle in gold.

State Flags
State Flags
The flags of the US states exhibit a wide variety of regional influences and local histories, as well as widely different styles and design principles.
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