Saint Paul Pioneer Press | Flag of a Different Color

It seems many Minnesotans agree with flag scholars who recently declared our state’s flag one of the nation’s ugliest.  In response to that troubling national report, the Pioneer Press asked readers to submit their designs for a new, improved flag …. We thank all who submitted designs.  Here are the winners — one best overall, plus winners in each of three age groups.

Best Overall: The Rev. William Becker of Austin, Minn., and Lee Herold of Rochester, Minn.  Herold and Becker believe Minnesota needs a vibrant flag that speaks to Minnesotans as powerfully as the U.S. flag speaks to all Americans (Becker, of Queen of Angels Church in Austin, is an expert on the state flag with the Minnesota Historical Society).

In 1989, Becker and Herold appeared before the Minnesota Legislature twice to discuss creating a new flag.  This flag, what they call “the North Star banner,” was the design they presented.  But it was not adopted by the state.

Now, the men hope their ode to Minnesota will receive renewed attention.  They say their flag has multiple meanings: the North Star recalls the state motto, adopted by the pioneers; gold is for our state’s natural wealth; blue is for our lakes and rivers; the waves illustrate the Indian name “minisota” (meaning sky-tinted water) and the “land of 10,000 lakes”; white is for our winter; green is for our farmland and forests.