What would make for a more inclusive Utah state flag? These students have some ideas

At West Point Jr. High in Davis County, several students are settling into their sophomore class.

As they drop their backpacks at the back of the room, their Latinos-in-Action teacher Christofer Bradshaw and Renee Leta from Utah arrive More than a flag project, welcome them.

The goal of the project is to redesign the state flag to reflect a more comprehensive picture of Utah’s population. The flag has seen some minor changes over the years, but this will be a complete makeover.

In 2021 a Y2 Analytics opinion poll found that some people said the current flag represents the state well—overall, “most Utahns surveyed either don’t believe or are unsure that the flag represents them personally.”

The project team partnered with community organizations to engage underrepresented communities in Utah in the new redesign. you have one online survey where people can give their feedback on icons, themes, colors and even design their own flag.

“What symbols are unique to Utah?” Leta asked the students.

“Mountains,” answered a child. Another replied: “Frying sauce.”

Utah More Than A Flag Project-2, West Point Jr High, April 19, 2022

From left, Santiago, Destiny, Estrella and Sienna talk about the people who make up Utah and what the flag should represent, April 19, 2022.

Sienna Resinger is a ninth grader who identifies as Navajo and Japanese. Resinger said the current flag doesn’t include them.

“I don’t feel like some people realize that people can be pushed out of something without people realizing,” she said. “For example, our Utah flag might represent a few things, but not all… We need to include everyone, not just one specific, idealistic thing.”

Her redesign includes two red mountains and a purple sun in the middle of Utah Delicate bow.

“The purple represents everyone because purple is not used on any other flag,” Resinger said. “But I feel like it would just take on all the colors of each and every ethnicity, and it would represent [them.] The sun is something that represents the earth itself. I think it’s good to have this arch that represents both Utah and the mountains.”

Utah More Than A Flag Project-3, West Point Jr High, April 19, 2022

West Point Jr. High Latinos in Action students design their own state flag. Most included the mountains of Utah and Delicate Arch, April 19, 2022.

Claudia Loayzathe community engagement coordinator for Utah’s Department of Multicultural Affairs, said they’ve been working to include communities that weren’t previously involved.

“We just wanted to be very conscious of who we’re reaching, and not just who we’re reaching, but how we’re reaching out,” Loayza said. “So part of that has to do with messaging and delivery.”

She said they made their resources available in five additional languages ​​and put up posters in places like Rancho Markets, libraries and the West Valley Mall.

“As part of this effort, and in the campaign we’ve been dedicated to for the last few months, we wanted to bring home the message that every vote and every story, every experience matters,” she said.

So far they have received about 4,000 replies. The deadline for submitting state flag feedback is April 30, 2022.

Editor’s note: Claudia Loayza is a member of the Advisory Board of KUER.

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