Utah almost has a new state flag. Actually, it is the old state flag approved back in 1913 — but a mistake by a flagmaker in 1922 altered it into the design that most people have seen and known for decades.
“We’re fixing an 88-year-old mistake,” said Rep. Julie Fisher, R-Fruit Heights, who speeded HCR2 through both houses of the Legislature Wednesday. Then, because the bill is not in the official form required for signing, Gov. Gary Herbert did a ceremonial signing as scores of elementary school children watched the process as a civics lesson.
Fisher said that back in 1922, Dolly McMonegal made a finely embroidered copy of the flag for the state at a time when most flags were handmade. But McMonegal either made the shield on it too small or the word “Utah” within it too big — leaving no room in the shield for “1847” – the year when the Mormon pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley.
So she put the “1847” beneath the shield, even though the law required it to be in the shield, Fisher said. Facsimiles became popular, and no one ever corrected the mistake.