MANY VOICES, ONE FLAG

The History of the Flag of Utah

(Prepared by Ronald L. Fox, John Hartvigsen, David Rindlisbach, Bill Wing and Paul Swenson, with assistance of the Utah State Division of History and the Utah State Archives)

Utah’s first flag was made in March of 1903 by ZCMI seamstress, Agnes Tuedt Frenelius at the direction of the Utah State Society of the Daughters of the Revolution.  The organization received a request from Governor Heber M. Wells, for a flag to be display at the St. Louis World’s Fair.

The word “Utah” was added to the bottom of the flag sometime after 1905.

The flag above was adopted by Legislature as the state flag through SJR 17 by Senate President Henry Gardner on March 9, 1911.

Utah’s flag celebrates its centennial anniversary this year from when the flag was originally adopted in 1911. HCR 2 (Rep. Julie Fisher) reaffirms the statute of 1913 (the last code to describe Utah’s flag) and encourages flag manufacturers to follow current Utah code.  The resolution provides an opportunity for Utah’s school children to learn about the political process while learning about the flag’s history and encourages future generations to honor the flag and those who came before us.  Flags currently in use may continue to be used until no longer in good repair.

The picture above is a copy of the only known photo of the 1913 flag (minimal quality from an old newspaper).  The description and colors were taken from language found in the Senate Journal and the original resolution found in the State Archives.

Below is the current Utah flag. In 1922, the “1847” was mistakenly put just above the “1896” and not on the shield, which does not follow the statute and has been perpetuated to this day.

Utah’s flag celebrates its centennial anniversary this year from when the flag was originally adopted in 1911.  HCR 2 (Rep. Julie Fisher) reaffirms the statute of 1913 (the last code to describe Utah’s flag) and encourages flag manufacturers to follow current Utah code.

The resolution provides an opportunity for Utah’s school children to learn about the political process while learning about the flag’s history and encourages future generations to honor the flag and those who came before us.

Flags currently in use may continue to be used until no longer in good repair.


The graphic above is a representation of the flag based on the 1913 resolution, and the surviving photograph. The description and colors were taken from language found in the Senate Journal and the original resolution found in the State Archives.

The flag is based on the Utah seal approved on April 3, 1896 through H. B. 164 by Rep. Edward Critchlow, as required by the Utah Constitution.  It was based on a design submission by Harry Edwards and Charles M. Jackson.  The flag displays an American bald eagle, a shield and six arrows which represent the six Indian tribes found in the territory at statehood.  Also displayed are the state motto, “INDUSTRY”, the beehive, the state flower the sego lily, (also adopted in 1911), the name “UTAH” and the year the pioneers enter the valley 1847.  The shield is surrounded by two partially shown period US flags on staffs with the date of statehood, 1896 below.  A thin gold ring surrounding the crest and gold fringe on its border finishes the flag.

1 comment

1 Jake { 02.12.11 at 11:21 PM }

I like the white shield, and improvements made to the beehive and sego lilies.

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