The History of the Utah State Flag

Have you seen the official Utah state flag? It consists of the state’s seal positioned in the center of a blue field. You can find the Utah state flag proudly displayed in front of countless homes, businesses and municipal properties throughout the Beehive State. The Utah state flag, however, hasn’t always featured this design. It’s gone through several changes over the course of its history.

The First Design

The original design of the Utah state flag has origins dating back to the early 20th century. In May 1903,  the governor of Utah asked members of the Daughters of the American Revolution to create a design for the state’s official flag. The finished design consisted of the state’s original seal affixed with the year “1896” against a blue field. The year 1896, of course, is significant to Utah because that’s when the state’s original seal was designed.

At the time, the design created by the Daughters of the American Revolution wasn’t used as the official Utah state flag. Rather, it wasn’t considered the “Governor’s Flag” because it was designed for the governor. It wasn’t until 1911 when Utah lawmakers passed the legislation declaring it as the official state Utah flag.

The Second Design

Just one year after the first design adopted, a second design of the Utah state flag emerged. The second design was almost the same as the first design. It still featured the original seal of Utah along with the year “1896” against a blue field. The difference is that the second design featured a multi-colored seal that was enclosed in a gold circle, whereas the first design features an all-while seal without a gold circle.

There’s a funny story to how the second design was created. In 1913, a chapter of the Sons and Daughters of Utah Pioneers ordered a Utah state flag. Upon receiving it, they noticed that it had been made in multiple colors with a gold circle. Lawmakers later declared this design as the official Utah state flag.

The Third and Current Design

The third and current design of the Utah state flag was adopted in 2011. It was essentially the same as the second design, but with an altered seal. In the second design, the official seal didn’t have the proper position for the year “1847.” Rather than being positioned within the shield itself, it was positioned directly over the year “1896.” Lawmakers discovered this error, and in 2011, adopted a new design that featured the correct seal.