On Friday, a special Minnesota commission approved a “final design concept” of a new state flag that is raising all sorts of eyebrows thanks to a viral X post.
Minnesota’s Star Tribune reports that the new flag “will feature an abstract shape of the state with an eight-pointed white North Star on its hoist.”
The outlet also notes that this design “will likely be altered by commission members” in the near future, so it’s not a final design at all.
However, even the suggested design and framework of the new flag has come under a searing microscope after a well-known conservative content creator on X pointed out the striking similarities between the new Minnesota design and the flag of a state within the historically impoverished African nation of Somalia.
Minnesota is home to the largest Somali population in the West. Rep. Ilhan Omar (Minnesota) is from Puntland.
Minnesota just unveiled their new flag.
I’m sure this is just a coincidence: pic.twitter.com/yayoteQoXE
— End Wokeness (@EndWokeness) December 17, 2023
“Minnesota is home to the largest Somali population in the West. Rep. Ilhan Omar (Minnesota) is from Puntland,” the popular End Wokeness X account, which features two million followers, posted to X Sunday morning.
Despite being up less than a day, the post had already garnered over two million views, and 19,000 likes by Sunday afternoon.
The End Wokeness X account continued: “Minnesota just unveiled their new flag. I’m sure this is just a coincidence.”
While the design featured by the outspoken X account isn’t technically “their new flag,” or at least not the final design, the similarities between it and the state flag for the Somalian state of Puntland are certainly undeniable.
It’s also not entirely clear that Omar is actually from Puntland. According to a 2016 Al Jazeera piece, Omar is from Mogadishu, the capital city of Somalia.
However, by Omar’s own words, she does have a deep connection to Puntland via her father:
I miss celebrating Puntland with my father, but will always keep his beloved Puntland in my heart. Happy #Puntland25 to Puntland. May you continue to be an example of prosperity for Somalia.
Here is a video of the last event aabe and I got to attend before he passed away. pic.twitter.com/PzG7mzfnua
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) August 1, 2023
“I miss celebrating Puntland with my father, but will always keep his beloved Puntland in my heart,” Omar posted to X in August.
Regardless of the tenuous connection between Omar and the Puntland flag, a glance at the comments under the viral X post revealed a strong degree of concern.
The United States is losing its identity and Minnesota is an example.
The United States should take care of its identity and standards.
— 🌒 XTroll (@XTrollRockNRoll) December 17, 2023
We are being replaced and they aren’t even trying to hide it anymore. We must resist guys. It’s not racist to want to exist. Follow us if you agree!
— Right Angle News Network (@Rightanglenews) December 17, 2023
Of note, Minnesota has long been associated with Somalians.
In a 2017 CNN piece, photojournalist Arthur Nazaryan told the outlet that Minnesota represented “the biggest Somali community in North America, possibly in the world outside of East Africa.”
He added: “It’s like the cultural hub of the Somali diaspora, you could say.”
Others, such as Republican North Dakota Rep. Brandon Prichard, simply thought the new flag was “minimalism” run amok and ugly:
Minimalism has destroyed the Minnesota state flag. This is extremely disappointing, but it is what we should have expected out of a state that allows baby-murder, gender mutilation of kids, and refugee camps in downtowns. pic.twitter.com/PMJhm79xTk
— Rep. Brandon Prichard (@RealPrichard) December 16, 2023
Whatever the concern may look like, the Minnesota commission that selected the new design knew that some backlash was coming.
“The next generation will be raised with a new flag. It’s going to happen,” commission chair Luis Fitch said, per the Tribune. “We’re not going to be able to make everybody happy. The whole idea since day one was to make sure we can [create] a flag that unites us instead of separates us.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.