Utah's New Beehive Flag Explained

Posted by Michael Green on

Utah's Beehive Flag has been making waves ever since the final design was released in late 2022. So when it was slated to be voted on, I traveled to Salt Lake City to be a part of flag history and do a full design breakdown.

The Design Elements

The base of the new Utah flag is red, representing the red earth and canyons of southern Utah and "perseverance". This is the portion of the flag we've turned into a rainbow in our Utah LGBTQ+ Pride Flag.

New Utah Flag Red Earth

Out of the red earth comes five white peaks which denote the snowy mountains and the five historic native tribes of Utah who hold this land as sacred.

New Utah Flag White Mountains

Above that is a blue sky which the final legislation says represents faith.

New Utah Flag Blue Sky

In the middle of the flag is a hexagon, which represents “the strength of Utah's people.”

New Utah Flag Hexagon

Inside of the hexagon is beehive, Utah's famous icon. It appears everywhere in the state, including Utah’s highway signs and large statues outside of the capitol building.

Why a Beehive?

Does Utah have more bees than anywhere in the US? No, not at all. It is a symbol used by the Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints, more commonly known as the Mormons. The beehive is a symbol that Joseph Smith and early church leaders most likely took from Freemasonry. It is used to represent prosperity and the industriousness of the Mormon people.

In the final flag legislation, it is said that the beehive represents “industry, community, and the year 1847, the year in which pioneers first settled Utah.”

New Utah Flag Beehive Symbol - Industry, Community, 1847

And finally, under the beehive is a five pointed star that symbolizes hope and the year 1896, the year in which Utah was admitted to statehood.

New Utah Flag Star - 1896 Utah Statehood

Utah's new Beehive Flag is a vast improvement over it's predicessor. That flag is not going away however. It is moving to what is now considered to be a "Ceremonial Flag" used for government activities, similar to how Congress and the President use ceremonial flags.

Utah's New Flag displayed alongside the now ceremonial utah flag and the ameican flag

(Note this picture above features the an earlier version of the Beehive Flag with an eight pointed star). 


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