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Michigan lawmaker believes the state flag is due for an update

Michigan House Democrat, Phillip Skaggs plans to introduce a bill prompting a redesign of the state flag.

If passed, submissions would be open to the public and an appointed commission would decide a final design. The Michigan Legislature and the governor would then have to approve the design.

Skaggs plans to introduce the bill at the end of April.

He hopes that a new design will better represent the state, and incorporate design principles that the current flag lacks.

“We know how important symbols are. Michigan is a great and unique state, it deserves a great and unique flag,” Skaggs said.

He hopes the new flag can become a popular symbol outside of government buildings and flag poles, where he mainly sees the current state flag.

Skaggs said he’s been surprised about the attention the potential bill has gotten from the public.

Michigan Radio spoke to some Michigan residents about the possibility of a flag redesign.

Tish Lehmen is a resident of Ann Arbor.

“A flag should represent a place,” Lehman said. “I mean I look at the state flag, it just has too much stuff on it,” She said, but was skeptical of some of the minimalist designs other states have decided on.

Nathaniel Pereff of Ann Arbor also shared his opinions.

“I personally don't mind [the current state flag]. It looks Michigan-y,” He said. The one thing Pereff would want to add is the unique shape of Michigan.

A state flag redesign is not unprecedented. Skaggs referenced a recent flag update in the state of Utah. Similar to Michigan, Utah used their state seal on their flag prior to their redesign.

Skagg hopes the new state flag will become a symbol Michiganders can be proud of.

Taylor Bowie is a senior studying English Literature at the University of Michigan and an intern in the Michigan Radio newsroom. She is originally from Owosso, Michigan.
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