New Minnesota flag set for official unveiling this weekend

Minnesota will unfurl a new flag Saturday to celebrate Statehood Day.

For now, at least, it’s not a fan favorite for many, but supporters think it can change Minnesotans' minds.

Dave Hruby couldn’t wait to run it up the pole when the State Emblems Redesign Commission chose a new flag design in December.

"When they picked this, I'm like, 'Wow, perfect choice,'" he said.

His may have been the first to fly in Minnesota, but as a sign of its growing popularity, the places you'll see it flying are spreading - from Edina to Columbia Heights and from Maple Grove to Mount Everest.

But the new design is not without its detractors.

"From the moment I put it up, I saw some neighbors put up the old flag where I've never seen him before," Hruby said.

In a couple recent polls, somewhere around half of Minnesotans said they wanted to keep the old flag.

A few Republican legislators tried to stop the shift.

And at Herold Flags in Rochester, sales of the new flag are rising, but the old flag sells faster.

"I think the experience of other states and even other countries that have changed their imagery, whether it's a flag or a seal, shows that pretty quickly people embrace that," said Secretary of State Steve Simon.

He was part of the commission that chose the new flag and seal.

They tried to absorb 21,000 public comments before settling on a design simple enough for a child to remember and draw: the basic shape of Minnesota and the dark blue sky, the light blue waters of our lakes and rivers, and a North Star.

"People are embracing these new images because they contain symbols that are not political, that unite us, around shared symbols," Simon said.

The outgoing flag still stood behind Simon’s desk Friday, but its replacement was at the ready just outside the door.

The new design will officially fly for the first time Saturday at sunrise, at the Capitol and at the governor’s residence.

"I'm excited to see it," said Minnesota Governor Tim Walz.

The National Guard will fold up the historic flag and it’ll take a place of honor at the Minnesota Historical Society.

Simon’s collection of seal stamps will go there, too.

And Hruby will get a wish fulfilled.

"I've wanted a new flag since I was a little kid," he said.