First flags from 91 countries raised on Temple Square plaza

Flags of 181 nations will rotate as part of new display east of Salt Lake Temple between the Church Office Building, Church Administration Building

As the sun rose on the Salt Lake Temple for the first time since the Angel Moroni statue returned atop the pioneer-era house of the Lord, a new art installation was unfurled on the plaza east of the temple.

Flags from 91 countries were raised Wednesday morning, April 3, as a symbol of “the global nature of the Church of Jesus Christ,” according to a press release on the Church’s website. The release said the flags also represent the Church’s commitment to being a friend to all nations and its belief that the gospel will one day have “filled the whole earth” (Daniel 2:35).

The plaza where the flags are located was previously the location of a water fountain that was removed during renovations over the past few years. This portion of the plaza reopened to the public in January and now has a variety of planters with flowers and trees – many of which are currently in bloom.

Elder Michael A. Dunn, General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, looks over the Kenya flag as 91 nations' flags are raised on the new plaza at the Church Office Building and Church Administration Building in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, April 3, 2024. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

The flag of the United States is located in the northwest corner of the plaza, with all other flags displayed in alphabetical order (in English) starting to the right of the American flag. The current display of 90 flags will rotate to a different 90 flags in three months to represent all of the countries that are recognized by the United Nations.

Because the flags are displayed as part of an art installation of the Church, the flags will fly only in their fully raised positions and will have lights illuminating them at all times. Other flags displayed on Temple Square will still be moved to half-staff as needed to recognize national or international days of mourning.

The Church has similar flag installations on other properties – including the Provo Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah. Following its renovations that concluded seven years ago, the MTC included a display of 39 flag poles that also rotate through flags representing countries where missionaries serve throughout the world.

Sixteen flags are also on display at the Mexico MTC, where many missionaries learn Spanish before arriving in their assigned locations to serve their missions.

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