Gov. Bill Haslam says he’s not sure what state legislators intend in proposing that the three stars on Tennessee’s flag, known as the “tri-star,” be designated as Tennessee’s official “state symbol,” but it should not impact the need for a new state logo developed by his administration.

Rep. Ron Lollar, R-Bartlett, House sponsor of HB1405, says the bill’s intent is simple: To put into state law a symbol that is already widely appreciated and recognized by Tennesseans. And he says that, although inspired by controversy over the new logo, designating a separate state symbol will have no impact on the logo.

“He (Haslam) has every right to come up with anything for his administration that he thinks would improve government or help it operate more efficiently,” Lollar said. “But we as legislators have every right to designate a state symbol.”

The new logo, which cost the state $46,000 to develop, stirred controversy when revealed earlier this summer, was tied to a redesign of state government’s website. The log, which has the letters TN in white against a square red background, now appears on virtually every page of the website and is being used on many state documents.

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