Utah man redesigns state flag with LGBTQ Pride colors to make it more 'inclusive'

"Flags are emblems that are adopted by a whole group of people, right? So, essentially, you can say that this flag is something that all people in Utah, whether they like it or not, are kind of embracing as part of their story."

A Salt Lake City, Utah designer has announced the launch of an LGBTQ+ Pride state flag, his more "inclusive" alternative to the state's official new flag, which was selected from a competition last month.

Riley Adamson, who has a background in industrial design, decided to turn the blue, gold, red, and white flag that was selected by the Utah State Flag Commission into a more progressive rainbow one, reports KSL TV. While his version is not official or state-sanctioned, Adamson's flag is receiving support from local media and his TikTok followers.

Despite Lt. Gov. Deidre M. Henderson's assertion that the new state flag — which is expected to be voted into service by the legislature early next year — is representative of "Utah's shared identity," Adamson thought that still, the gay and transgender community could be better represented.

Adamson documented some of the commission's flag-decision-making process on TikTok, where he shared some grievances he had with the one that ended up being chosen. 

"Ehh… I guess it's okay. It seems like the problem we have with our current flag… it's got this, like, crest-thing in the middle that's just like, blobbed there," Adamson said in one video about the flag, which features a gold beehive. In Mormonism, which is Utah's primary religion, the beehive is a popular symbol. There is also a theological debate on whether or not it has origins in Freemasonry as well, according to Freemason.com.

In fact, Adamson was so against the concept of having the beehive in the flag due to it's religious and organizational affiliations, that he made a whole chart breaking down why it shouldn't be included.

However, because the beehive made it into the final design, Adamson took it upon himself to turn it into a rainbow beehive and sell merchandise of it.

His full new flag design features not only the multicolored beehive, but also the stripes of the "Progress Pride Flag," a design including the transgender pride colors as well as black and brown stripes to be inclusive of racial minorities.

"Flags are emblems that are adopted by a whole group of people, right? So, essentially, you can say that this flag is something that all people in Utah, whether they like it or not, are kind of embracing as part of their story," Adamson said to KSL TV. "I wanted a flag that matched that, that matched what people, what all Utahns, could have or should have or would be proud to fly in their house."

"Making it more inclusive and making it match more of, let's involve everybody. Everyone who is here in Utah is a Utahn," he added. "There's nothing really wrong with just having another emblem that represents something slightly different than what is already there."

The flag is on sale on his website for $42, as well as rainbow beehive stickers for $4.20.

"That's exclusion. We're not all LGBTQ," wrote one Twitter user of the LGBTQ+ design. "But people would flip out [if they] designed a Mormon one, or Catholic one, or Mexican one etc. Why can't they be loyal and inclusive?," they added.

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