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Turner pushes plan that could lead to a new state flag

State Senator Doris Turner wants to take a closer look at the Illinois flag. She has introduced a plan to create a commission to develop a new design.

“After more than 100 years of the same design, I think it’s time to rework it," said Turner (D-Springfield). "I'd like to see us take a community approach to create a new design for Illinois’ official state flag."

Senate Bill 1818 would create the Illinois Flag Commission to develop new state flag designs. According to the bill, the Chair of the Commission, either the Illinois Secretary of State or a designee, would need to convene the first meeting by no later than September 1, 2023. The Commission would be required to report recommendations to the General Assembly by no later than December 3, 2024.

A website would be created that would allow for suggestions from the public. Eventually, the legislation also calls for the public to be able to weigh in on final designs.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources explains Illinois’ state flag history. There have been two official state flags – the first was adopted in 1915. The second was adopted in 1969, which did not change the original design of the flag but added “Illinois.”

Turner pointed out Utah passed a similar law creating the Utah State Flag Task Force which provided design toolkits to libraries, schools and other institutions. She said the task force received around 7,000 flag designs and over 44,000 public comments in 2021. According to Utah’s Department of Cultural and Community Engagement, students, educators, families and more were invited to participate in the process of choosing Utah’s new state flag.

“This initiative would promote public involvement and embody civic pride for our communities and state,” Turner said. “For years, Illinois was seen as fiscally irresponsible. We have turned that around and returned Illinois to the great state it is and our flag should reflect that.”

Senate Bill 1818 is assigned to the Senate State Government Committee.

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