Ballot initiative to put the new Utah state flag up to a vote fails to qualify

Utah state flags
Posted at 6:54 PM, Feb 16, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-16 20:56:38-05

SALT LAKE CITY — A proposed citizen ballot initiative to put the new Utah state flag up to a public vote has failed to qualify.

Lt. Governor Deidre Henderson's office said Friday that the "Restoring the Utah State Flag Initiative" did not gather enough valid signatures to qualify for a spot on the November ballot.

Under Utah law, supporters must submit 134,298 valid signatures from across the state. As of the Thursday night deadline, backers submitted 99,125. Of those, only 81,992 were valid, according to the Lt. Governor's Office. The remainder were invalid or not counted because they didn't meet the required signature threshold.

It is the latest defeat for opponents of the new Utah state flag. An attempt at a citizen referendum on the bill passed by the Utah State Legislature last year failed to qualify. A bill to revert back to the old state flag is currently stalled in the legislature this year. A political action committee linked to the effort is currently suing Lt. Gov. Henderson arguing the citizen initiative process the legislature created is too difficult and delays and deadlines imposed are unconstitutional.

Some have criticized the flag, with its simple design of a beehive, mountains and redrock canyons, as "woke" and erasing state history. On the other side, critics of the old flag have derided it as a "state seal on a blue bedsheet."