The final design will be selected from one of the six finalists above. The competition was open to the public both for submissions and for commentary. The redesign was considered necessary because the old state flag, designed at the time of statehood -
- incorporates a "hot mess" of tiny symbols, including a Native American riding off into the sunset. Many Minnesotans wanted to have a loon incorporated into the flag, but it was decided that the loon was a resident of the north part of the state, while the North Star ("L'Etoile du Nord") is more all-encompassing. The loon may, however, be included in the upcoming redesign of the official state seal.
Addendum: The six finalist designs have been tweaked (shape of star, size of star, shade of green, etc) by various professionals, so there are now 86 variations from which the final choice will be made.
More updates: Final design chosen (top right of the original six finalists embedded above) but still needs to be tweaked by professionals. And the revised state seal will feature a loon and words from the Dakota language:
"A red-eyed loon poses on a Minnesota lake surrounded by pine trees, the North Star and sprigs of wild rice. Above the image are the words: "Mni Sóta Makoc̣e," Dakota for the "land where the waters reflect the sky.""
The final decision re the flag:
The three colors on the right (snow, vegetation, water) were simplified to the one for which the state wants to be known (lakes), and the shape of the iconic North Star was tweaked. The shape of the state is retained.
Another addendum: The Republican minority in the state governmet is "ramping up their opposition, hoping to turn anger over the redesign into a election-year vote."
Earlier this month, David Hann, the chair of the Republican Party of Minnesota, also denounced the new state flag along with Deputy Chair Donna Bergstrom, arguing that the old flag was historically significant and arguing that the DFL is on a "quest to erase our history." They're raising money by selling "don't PC our flag" and "erasing history" T-shirts on the party's website.
Because... politics. Endless, endless partisan bullshit politics. I wish they would quit fucking around and just get some actual work done.