To promote public involvement and embody civic pride for Illinois, a measure spearheaded by State Senator Doris Turner that would create a commission to develop a new official state flag passed the Senate Thursday.
“History is living, breathing and ever evolving,” said Turner (D-Springfield). “We need to ensure government is evolving with the times so that people are engaged and a part of what is going on across the state.”
Senate Bill 1818 would create the Illinois Flag Commission to develop new state flag designs. The commission would make recommendations to the General Assembly deciding whether the current state flag should be replaced with a redesigned state flag by Sept. 1. If they decide the flag should be replaced, the commission would report recommendations to the General Assembly by Dec. 3, 2024.
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.”
In 2021, Utah passed a similar law creating the Utah State Flag Task Force which provided design toolkits to libraries, schools and other institutions. The task force received around 7,000 flag designs and over 44,000 public comments. 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.
“We need a flag that truly represents Illinois – a state with a strong workforce, an agriculture champion and so much more,” said Turner.
Senate Bill 1818 passed the Senate and heads to the House of Representatives.