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Minnesota is getting a new flag that more accurately represents “every Minnesotan,” said the state's  Lt. governor, Peggy Flanagan.

The new flag, approved by the State Emblems Redesign Commission on December 19, shows a white Northern star over a dark blue backdrop in the “abstract shape” of Minnesota, beside a lighter blue that’s meant to symbolize “the significance of water to our state,” according to the commission’s notes.

The previous design of the Minnesota state flag has long been criticized for depicting a shirtless Native American person on horseback, seemingly being displaced from his land by a settler farmer. The Minnesota state legislature passed a bill to redesign the flag in May 2023.

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The designs must accurately and respectfully reflect Minnesota's shared history, resources, and diverse cultural communities,” the commission’s mandate reads. “Symbols, emblems, or likenesses that represent only a single community or person, regardless of whether real or stylized, may not be included in a design.”

“Dare I say anything that’s not a Native person being forced off their land is a flag upgrade?!”  Flanagan, citizen of the White Earth Nation, wrote on X. “Excited to have a new state flag that represents every Minnesotan.”

The new design was done by Minnesota resident Andrew Prekker.

Prekker said in a statement that he hopes the new flag can properly represent the state’s diverse populations.

“That every Minnesotan of every background —including the Indigenous communities and tribal nations who’ve been historically excluded— can look up at our flag with pride and honor, and see themselves within it,” Prekker said.

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