The flag of the State of Utah was adopted in February 2011 and consists of the seal of Utah encircled in a golden circle on a background of dark navy blue. It replaced a previous flag that had been in use since 1913.
A bald eagle, the national bird of the United States, symbolizes protection in peace and war. The sego lily, the state flower of Utah, represents peace. The state motto "Industry" and the beehive represent progress and hard work. The U.S. flags show Utah's support and commitment to the United States. The state name "Utah" appears below the beehive. The date 1847 represents the year the Mormon pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley, while 1896 represents the year that Utah was admitted as the 45th state to the Union.
In 2011, the color of the shield in the seal was changed from blue to white, and the year 1847 was moved onto the shield.
The beehive has been, at least since Roman times, a very meaningful symbol, being used in heraldry since Middle Ages. According to Freemasonry, the beehive is a symbol of industry, co-operation and dedication to work. Latter-Days Saints Church adopted it with a similar symbolism.
In the language of Jaredites, a people described on Book of Mormon, the word "Deseret" means "honey bee". The Mormon community suggested the creation of the State of Deseret on an area that included the current state of Utah, but the federal government rejected the proposal and created the Territory of Utah on same area.
However, the beehive and the honey bees is still a symbol strongly related with Utah: a beehive is present in the state flag, state seal and highway marks; the beehive is the state emblem; Utah's official astronomical symbol is the "Beehive Cluster", its official insect is the honey bee, the state motto is "Industry" (a reference to the beehive's symbolism); and its unofficial nickname is "The Beehive State".