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Gant Statement in Opposition to revising the South Dakota Flag.


February 2, 2012

Contact:  Jason M. Gant (605) 773-3537

Gant Statement in Opposition to revising the South Dakota Flag.
Today, Secretary of State Jason Gant announced his opposition to House Bill 1235, An Act to revise certain provisions relating to the South Dakota state flag, which is scheduled to be heard in House State Affairs committee on Monday, February 6th. Gant stated:
“Representing the Office of the Secretary of State, I plan on testifying in opposition to House Bill 1235 because of two major flaws in the bill.”
“First is the rich South Dakota history of our great flag. The basic design of the sun and seal of our South Dakota flag pre-dates the completion of the State’s Capitol Building This flag has proudly flown over our state for over 100 years, and came into creation when Seth Bullock himself asked for a South Dakota flag to fly at a gathering of Spanish-American War Veterans.”
“Ida Anding, whom I credit as South Dakota’s version of Betsy Ross, created two flags, one for Bullock, and one for the Secretary of State. I still have one of the two original flags produced in my office. At the time the measure is heard in committee, I plan to take the opportunity to show the legislative committee the actual flag that our current flag is based off of.”
“­While the proposed flag has elements that mirror some facets of our state’s culture, I do not believe it to represent our great state as well nor as completely as our current flag.” It might not fit the standards of being ‘pretty’ as much as those who study flags would like, but as contained on the flag, the Great Seal of South Dakota proclaims “Under God the People Rule,” and recognizes our home as “The Mount Rushmore State.” These qualities distinguish the State of South Dakota apart from all other states in the union, and as long as they do, it is my fervent desire to see our state flag remain as it is today.”
“Secondly, the bill amends SDCL 1-6-1 with permissive language regarding the use of the State Seal, and muddies the provisions of SDCL 1-6-3.1, 3.2, and 3.3 which restrict the use of the seal without permission. I have concerns that from a brief reading of solely 1-6-1, the new language may inadvertently lead people to unintentionally violate the law should they read no farther.”
For more information on the State Flag and its history, Secretary Gant invites internet users to read more in the 2011 Legislative Manual or “Blue Book” available on his website at www.sdsos.gov, or to see images of the original flag, go to www.facebook.com/sosgant