Celebrate Utah’s Great State Flag on Its Special Day

The Utah State Flag

John Hartvigsen

Designated as Utah State Flag Day, March 9th commemorates the day in 1911 when the State Legislature adopted the Beehive State’s elegant banner. Recognizable and recognized, the Utah State Flag identifies Utah as no other flag could.

Even Mark Twain, who visited Utah Territory in 1861, recognized the meaning that the beehive had in correctly describing residents of the Territory. He wrote that the “crest” of Utah, unlike the flag of his home state of Missouri, was easy to understand:

And it was simple, unostentatious and it fitted like a glove. It was a representation of a Golden Beehive, with all the bees at work.

What has been called Utah’s “Grand Beehive” is a civic emblem that has decorated Utah flags, seals and symbols for almost one and three fourths century. It fit Utahns like a glove when Mark visited, and it continues to fit Utah’s diverse population today as no other symbol could.

Utah is the Beehive State, not the Delicate Arch State nor the Golden Spike State nor even the Greatest Snow of Earth State. The Beehive State is the state’s well know nickname, its State Emblem is the Beehive, its state insect is the Honey Bee, and bees swarm around their hive of Utah’s flag. The state’s physical geography is diverse and so are its peoples.

The State Flower, the Sego Lily, flanks the hive and six arrows pierce the shield above which these symbols appear. These arrows symbolize the native tribes that lived in the area for centuries before settlers arrived. The year of western settlement, 1847, and the year of statehood, 1896, appear along with the state’s name on the flag as a reminder of the half of a century it took for Utah to be admitted to the U.S. union. For this reason, a bald eagle and two U.S. flags complete the flag’s design, meaning to Utahns celebrating statehood: The struggle for statehood is over, and Utah’s rising star has joined her sister states in Old Glory’s proud constellation.

The Utah State Flag is packed tight with deep symbolic meaning relating Utah’s story wherever it flies.

Governor Gary Herbert met with State Representative Julie Fisher and 4th Graders in the Capitol’s Gold Room.

It is no surprise then that Utah’s school children learn about the state’s history and symbols through studying the Utah State Flag. Utah’s Governor Gary Herbert met with 4th grade students in the Utah State Capitol’s ceremonial Gold Room to share the significance of the symbols depicted on the Utah State Flag. In fact, Governor Herbert regularly selects the Utah State flag together with the U.S. flag to be his backdrop for interviews and pictures.

Utah is a great state and deserves a great flag. Well, it has one.



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