Resolution aims to correct decades-old error in Utah state flag

Published: Thursday, Jan. 27 2011 12:18 a.m. MST

The 1922 flag was made in error and has been used as the pattern for all current flags.

State of Utah

SALT LAKE CITY — An 89-year-old error on the Utah state flag will likely be corrected on its 100th anniversary this year.

The official flag adopted in 1911 has the year 1847 — when Mormon pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley — on the shield. A hand-stitched state flag commissioned in 1922 inadvertently placed the year below the shield. Flag companies have perpetuated the error ever since.

"Our current flag in not in compliance with state statute," said Rep. Julie Fisher, R-Fruit Heights, who is sponsoring a resolution to correct the mistake. HCR2, approved Wednesday by the House Government Operations Committee, calls for companies to make new flags for the state according to the original.

In proposing the legislation, Fisher saw an opportunity to teach schoolchildren about the flag and involved them in the political process. She invited Logan Jeppson, a fourth-grader at Burton Elementary School in Kaysville, to address the committee.

"I've seen the original flag, and I've seen the flag now, and 1847 was an important year when the pioneers came into Utah, and I would like the flag to be in the original way," he said.

Amateur historian Ron Fox brought the error to the state's attention after finding a 1903 flag in mislabeled box at the Utah State Historical Society. The Utah Legislature declared that version as the official flag in 1911.

"I think it's important for children to understand the history and importance of our state flag," he said.

Fisher's resolution now goes to the House floor for consideration.

e-mail: romboy@desnews.com

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