Mall of America shoppers view final six candidates for the new Minnesota state flag

Amid all the holiday shoppers at Mall of America is an invitation to look up the ‘final six.’

“I think it’s kind of cool they’re making a new flag, you know?” smiled Matt Murray of Minnetonka.  

“Honestly, I think they’re all beautiful,” added Paige Renteria from Faribault.

The half-dozen flag designs have been whittled down from 2,500 entries — and are now on display in MOA’s rotunda.  

The finalists in Minnesota’s quest for a new state flag.

“You know, honestly, I just learned about it, so I’m really open to it,” says Sara Morgan from Minneapolis. “I’m not really attached to the old flag, and I really like these new designs.”
The current design — with the state seal on a blue background — has been around since 1957.

The State Emblems Redesign Commission, created by state lawmakers during the 2023 legislative session, will be taking a close look at the six final designs on Tuesday and, if needed, again on Friday.

“They’ll either pick one of those six or maybe do some modifications for the six finalists and get a flag that will work for Minnesota,” notes David Kelliher, the Director of Public Policy for the Minnesota Historical Society.

The commissioners are to report back to the governor and state lawmakers by January 1.

The goal is to have a new design ready by May 11 — Statehood Day for Minnesota.

Supporters of the change say the current design, with the state seal in the middle, is nearly identical to flags from 20 other states.

But also — some are critical of the seal itself, with a white settler farming and a Native American riding in the background.

“An image of an early Minnesota farmer doing his work and a Native American riding off into the sunset,” Kelliher explains. “That’s maybe not the symbol that encompasses all Minnesotans and brings us all together.”

Back at the mall, shoppers were vocal about their favorites.

Murray likes the design that includes what appears to be a flowing, undulating river and perhaps the Aurora Borealis above, next to an image of the North Star.

“Really simplistic,” he says. “The other designs, I don’t like the colors that much, the composition, things like that.”

Daniel Clevenger, from Eden Prairie, likes the design with green on the lower third of the flag and a dark blue background above, the North Star shining.

“That’s really nice, represents the colors of the state of Minnesota,” he says. “Everything changes with time. I think it would be something good for the city and the state.”  

Shoppers here say they noticed all six finalists had a symbolic North Star and lots of green and blue.  

Renteria is enjoying all of them.

“I think change is okay,” she says. “A new flag, something for people to recognize. I mean, we live in the land of 10,000 lakes. It’s bound to be a bunch of rivers that flow. So, I think it’s beautiful.”

You can check out the six finalists in person at the MOA rotunda from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Sunday.