I’m a former Catholic and a former member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
I’m also a former Mormon.
So it’s not surprising that, while I’ve been a believer, I’ve never seen my church become a target of the American flag controversy.
The flag issue has been going on for years.
In a November 2017 survey by the Pew Research Center, about one-third of Mormons supported changing the flag to a red, white and blue stripe in honor of the nation’s fallen soldiers and heroes.
Another poll in March 2017 found that more than a quarter of Americans wanted to change the flag from a white flag to blue, with more than two-thirds of Catholics.
The majority of Americans also have a positive view of the flag, according to a March 2016 Gallup poll, with only 38 percent of Americans viewing it negatively.
This doesn’t bode well for the flag in Utah, where it’s one of the oldest and most revered symbols of the United States.
The Mormon Church is the state’s largest Protestant denomination, and it’s home to the largest number of active and retired Mormon soldiers in the country.
I grew up with the Mormon flag in my childhood, and I know firsthand the pride and sacrifice it represents.
But for the past several years, a few prominent Mormons have been advocating for a new flag, one that’s more patriotic and more appropriately honoring the fallen.
Their efforts have gained national attention.
A recent petition was signed by more than 3,000 people, including many members of the Mormon Church.
Some of the signers included LDS apostle Bruce R. McConkie, who famously said, “There is no better emblem of patriotism than the United Colors of the Stars and Stripes.”
The petition says the new flag is “more appropriate and better represents our values” and should be a “red, white, and blue” flag.
It’s not the first time Mormons have changed the flag.
Earlier this year, the LDS Church adopted a new national flag in honor the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
It was red, with the motto “The Star Spangled Banner” in white, blue and gold, and the words “Mormon and Friends,” the word “Mormons” and “Masonry.”
This isn’t the first flag controversy for Utah.
In February 2017, members of Utah’s LDS Church voted to adopt a new version of the state flag.
The new flag features a more prominent flag with red, black and white colors.
However, it’s still in its red, blue, and white design, and still doesn’t include the motto, “Masons, Masons, and Friends.”
And while it’s technically a change in the state constitution, the Utah Legislature doesn’t have the power to change its flag.
This is the latest controversy involving the flag controversy, with a petition on Change.org to change Utah’s flag gaining more than 60,000 signatures by Tuesday afternoon.
In the petition, supporters say the new version is “significantly more patriotic,” “more reflective of our state’s heritage,” and “better represents our Utah identity.”
But Utah’s new flag was introduced after the state adopted its own flag in July 2017.
That flag was a red-white-blue-black-red, with “Utah” in black letters.
It became a national symbol, and became one of many in the Mormon religion, which has its roots in the early Christian communities of Europe.
Utah was among the first states to adopt the flag when it was adopted in 1866, after the Utah Territory was founded by the Mormon settlers.
Since then, other states have added a red and white flag, including Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, Oklahoma and Tennessee.
The Utah flag has a history of controversy.
In 2012, an LDS missionary was caught on video criticizing Utah for using the flag for an outdoor flagpole.
The state’s LDS leadership also criticized the flag during a 2016 conference call with church members.
During that conference call, the church leaders called for “a new flag that is more appropriate and is better reflective of the Utah identity,” according to an article in The Salt Lake Tribune.
At a press conference held last month, Bishop Todd E. Stavins, Utah’s top official for the LDS church, said the flag’s current design was “very similar to that of the old flag.”
That flag is not currently in use in Utah.
This flag controversy has caused a lot of division between Mormon and non-Mormon Utahans.
It comes at a time when Utah is in the midst of a national conversation about racism, which prompted President Donald Trump to call for an investigation into the flag debate.
Some have called the flag a symbol of racism, but others say it’s simply a way for Mormons to honor their heritage and be more respectful of other religions.
This controversy has been making the rounds in the U.S. and beyond, and some Utah Mormons are voicing their concerns about