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Minnesota to replace state flag considered 'offensive' to Native Americans: 'A cluttered genocidal mess'
Image Source: WCCO-TV video screenshot

Minnesota to replace state flag considered 'offensive' to Native Americans: 'A cluttered genocidal mess'

Minnesota's State Emblems Redesign Commission met for the first time on Tuesday to discuss replacing the state's flag and seal, deemed "offensive" to Native Americans, the Associated Press reported.

Minnesota State Representative Mike Freiberg (D) led an effort to replace the "problematic" imagery by sponsoring a bill to redesign the state's flag and seal.

The current flag, adopted in 1957, depicts a Native American riding a horse off into the sunset and a white man plowing a field. The seal, which features a similar image, was adopted in 1858.

"The imagery suggests to many that the Indigenous people were defeated and going away, while whites won and were staying," the AP reported. The outlet noted that the state's Dakota and Ojibwe tribes consider the image offensive.

Freiberg called the flag and seal "a cluttered genocidal mess."

"HF 274 creates a taskforce to redesign the Minnesota state seal, which has problematic imagery, and the state flag, which has problematic imagery and is poorly designed," Freiberg posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, in May.

Vexillologists have also criticized the state's flag for being overly complicated and breaking the rules of a well-designed flag. According to the North American Vexillological Association, flags should be simple and easily recognizable. A survey conducted by the association in 2001 ranked Minnesota 67th out of 72 United States and Canadian flags.

The SERC held its kickoff meeting Tuesday to begin talks about the redesign. The commission has been tasked with designing and adopting a new flag and seal by January 1, 2024.

"The Commission shall develop and adopt a new design for the official state seal and a new design for the official state flag. The designs must accurately and respectfully reflect Minnesota's shared history, resources, and diverse cultural communities. Symbols, emblems, or likenesses that represent only a single community or person, regardless of whether real or stylized, may not be included in a design," the SERC stated.

Anita Gail, the commission's vice chair, said, "What I am looking forward to is creating a flag that we can all be proud of, and a flag that everybody can look at and say: 'Yeah, that's Minnesota's flag. That's a cool flag. That's very distinctive.'"

Republican Senator Steve Drazkowski stated, "I know that there's many Minnesotans that think we need a new flag and there's many that don't."

"Obviously, the decision is made — we're going to have a new flag. And so my goal going forward ... is that we have a flag that doesn't represent one idea or one ideology or one anything, but represents all of Minnesota," Drazkowski added.

MN legislature forms commission to redesign state seal, flagyoutu.be

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