Work on Minnesota flag redesign begins with the help of a Rochester flag shop operator

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(ABC 6 News) – The process of redesigning Minnesota’s state flag has formally begun.

A state commission working on the redesign held it’s first meeting on Tuesday. That commission is responsible for replacing both the state flag and seal which contains imagery in each symbol that’s considered offensive to Native Americans.

Not only does Minnesota’s Dakota and Ojibwe tribes consider them offensive, but experts in the scientific and scholarly study of flags — known as vexillology — say it’s an overly complicated design.

As part of their work, the group will come together to select and formalize a final design, and part of that work is being done by a Rochester business owner.

Lee Herold is the owner of Herold Flags and Flagpoles. While some people are citing the need for a redesign due to the depiction of a Native American in a farm field, Herold is citing a different reason for the update.

“Very few people fly the flag,” said Herold, “a lot of people don’t know what it looks like even. You really can’t put a Minnesota flag on a license plate. There’s so much stuff on it, it gets all muddled.”

With that in mind, Herold submitted his own design for consideration. He came up with that design with the help of Reverend William Becker of Winona.

Herold said he thinks flags should be simple in concept, but also represent the state. He highlighted states such as Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona in which the flags have simpler designs, while maintaining a representative nature for their respective states.

“The most important thing is to keep it simple. You add too much, you lose people pretty quickly. It’s like a long speech,” said Herold.

The design he and Becker came up with has the Minnesota North Star, white to represent snow, green to represent forest, and blue to represent the state’s nickname as the “Land of 10,000 Lakes.”

Current design submitted by Herold, Becker

The group tasked with selecting the new state seal and flag said they hope to make a decision by early next year. If you’d like to see additional designs that have been submitted for consideration, or have a design of your own you’d like to submit, click here.