The new state flag proposed by a small group of Provo residents would offend half our state's

residents and embarrass the other half.

Bedecked with Mormon symbols, it features the date Mormons arrived in Utah instead of the date of statehood, advancing the promoters’ contention that "Utah's American history begins in 1847.”

This is an insult to Utah's extraordinary Native American heritage, the explorers, missionaries, miners, settlers, traders, artists and others who helped build this state and half the current population of Utah.

Adopting this discriminatory banner would needlessly saddle Utah with the same divisiveness and resentment engendered by the Confederate flag flying over a Southern statehouse.

Utah's current flag displays the state seal in a golden circle on a field of blue. It includes national symbols-the American flag and bald eagle, along with our date of statehood, state flower and state motto. It is a busy design, but far more appropriate than a banner promoting one religion above all others.

If our flag must be changed, why not choose an inclusive symbol such as our exquisite state flower, the sego lily, or Delicate Arch, reflecting Utah's span from ancient to modern times and embrace of diverse religions and cultures?

Patricia O’Rorke, Ivins