Layton Republican Rep. Steve Handy said his bill would create an 11-member commission to study the concept of replacing the current Utah state flag. On the House floor on Friday, Handy said his legislation wasn't necessarily about getting rid of the current version, but about evaluating potential new designs for the flag.
"After looking at a number of submissions from the state we'd have an opportunity to determine [if we] should consider a different state flag, different from the historic flag," he said.
Following that review, the commission would then make a recommendation to the House Government Operations Committee.
But during debate on the bill, some lawmakers expressed a fondness for the current state flag, including Pleasant Grove Republican Rep. Brady Brammer, who said that the design was something Utahns take pride in - especially children.
“I have consulted with some experts on what children think of the state flag and they like the eagle, they like the talons, they like the arrows, they like the flags that are just below the eagle and the beehive," he said. "I'm not in favor of revisiting our state flag at this time."
Rep. Handy later reiterated that his bill didn't mean that the current design would be discarded.
"All this is is a state flag review commission to determine what the people think," he said. "And then at some point maybe or maybe not this legislature would have an opportunity to consider what the people think," Handy said.
Handy’s HB219 passed on a 46-26 vote and now heads to the Senate.