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Gov. Cox issues executive order outlining how to display the historic state flag and new state flag

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox issued an executive order today continuing the significance of Utah’s historic state flag as Utahns gain a new state flag. The executive order reaffirms the historic state flag will continue to be displayed. 

During the 2023 General Legislative Session, lawmakers approved Senate Bill 31 which establishes a new state flag in Utah. The original Utah state flag that was adopted on March 9, 1911 will be referred to as the “historic state flag,” and Utah’s newly adopted state flag will be referred to as “state flag.” 

“I believe that Utahns should take great pride in our state’s history and never forget the sacrifices that have been made by our ancestors,” Gov. Cox said. “Our traditional Utah state flag has been a symbol of that faith, diligence and strength of the people of Utah since its adoption.

“As governor, I am proud to issue today an executive order requiring that the current state flag be flown at the Capitol at all times and at all state buildings on certain holidays and special occasions. I am further requesting that, during an upcoming session, the Legislature amend SB 31 to require the historic state flag be flown above the new state flag when the two flags are flown together. This will ensure that the historic flag will remain a symbol of our history and strength.  

“I am grateful for the tens of thousands of Utahns who participated in designing and selecting this new flag. Just as we have much to be grateful for from our ancestors, I hope that today’s Utahns will be worthy of the mantle that has been placed upon them to preserve and build Utah’s legacy for our children, grandchildren, and generations to come.”

Utah’s historic state flag was created by the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1903 under the direction of Gov. Heber M. Wells. On March 9, 1911, the Utah State Legislature adopted the historic state flag. Utah’s new state flag will take effect on March 9, 2024. 

According to Executive Order 2023-04, all necessary steps will be taken, including a convening of the State Capitol Preservation Board, to allow the historic state flag to be flown on top of the Utah State Capitol building everyday. The EO also requires both the state flag and the historic state flag to be flown on separate flagpoles daily on the Utah State Capitol grounds.

In addition, Utah’s state agencies will fly the historic state flag on state property for each legal holiday and will adopt additional methods for maintaining the significance of the historic state flag, including flying the flag at significant agency events.

Finally, Gov. Cox has asked the Legislature to amend SB 31 so that the historic state flag is displayed above the state flag when both are displayed.