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The current official North Dakota state logo. Tom Stromme / Bismarck Tribune

North Dakota House gives approval to state logo contest offering $9,500 as first prize

BISMARCK — The North Dakota House gave its approval on Wednesday, Feb. 6, for some friendly competition: a contest for a new state logo offering $9,500 as first prize.

House Bill 1457 passed 78-14. Rep. Marvin Nelson, D-Rolla, introduced the bill, which would direct the state Department of Commerce to administer a contest for a new design.

Nelson has criticized the recently introduced "Be Legendary" design and how it was developed — with no opportunity for artists or graphic designers to participate.

A Minnesota marketing consultant with ties to Gov. Doug Burgum's Great Plains Software designed "Be Legendary" for $9,500.

The state Tourism Division introduced "Be Legendary" in October, replacing the longtime "North Dakota Legendary" script.

The House Industry, Business and Labor Committee gave a unanimous do-pass to the bill.

On the floor, Rep. George Keiser, R-Bismarck — who chairs the IBL Committee — said he thinks it's "only appropriate" to have a North Dakota-homegrown logo, as "Be Legendary" was made in Minnesota.

Rep. Thomas Beadle, R-Fargo, opposed the bill for putting a contest before design professionals, while other contractors compete in a public bid process for state projects.

The bill now goes to the Senate.