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SD House panel rejects plan for new state flag

This undated image provided courtesy of Rep. Bernie Hunhoff shows the design he would like to be adopted for the South Dakota state flag. The Native American-inspired design, created about 20 years ago by Spearfish artist Dick Termes, sparked debate when it was unveiled Thursday. (AP Photo/Courtesy Rep. Bernie Hunhoff)

PIERRE (AP) -- A South Dakota House panel has rejected a proposal to redesign the state flag.

The measure's main sponsor, House Democratic Leader Bernie Hunhoff of Yankton, says the current flag does not do enough to promote South Dakota because it consists only of the official state seal on a blue background.

But the State Affairs Committee voted 7-4 Monday to kill the measure after members of the Republican majority said they do not want to abandon a flag that has featured the state seal for more than a century.

Hunhoff's bill originally proposed a new design done by Spearfish artist Dick Termes, featuring a Native American medicine wheel surrounded by sunshine rays on a sky-blue background.

Hunhoff changed the bill Monday to propose a competition for a new design.