Meeker County’s new flag is flying from a pole — in Alexandria, 66 miles from Litchfield.
That’s where PrimeWest Health, an insurer owned by Meeker and 12 other counties, has opened its new headquarters.
Earlier this year, PrimeWest asked the 13 counties to display their flags at the front of the insurer’s new offices. But none of the counties had flags, and PrimeWest offered to help design them, according to Communications Director Beth Hendrickson. “It has been a big point of pride...,” she said about the project. “It really reinforces that we are county owned.”
Prime West provides insurance to residents who qualify for Minnesota health care programs, such as MinnCare. Meeker County was one of the insurer’s founding members in 1998.
PrimeWest gave to Meeker County a flag, in addition to the one already flying in Alexandria. Whether the flag flies at the courthouse here, or another building, hasn’t been determined. Some County Board members still haven’t seen it, nor have they taken a vote on making it an official symbol.
Board members Mike Huberty and Bryan Larson traveled to PrimeWest on June 26 to celebrate the opening of PrimeWest’s new office. As member of a joint powers board that governs PrimeWest, Huberty had the honor of hoisting the flag alongside officials from other counties. Former Meeker County Board members who played a role in founding PrimeWest, Amy Wilde and Jim Swenson, also attended the event.
Huberty said he would support making the flag an official symbol of the county. “I feel it’s OK,” he said. “It can’t hurt anything.”
Whether other board members agree remains to be seen. County Administrator Paul Virnig said the flag, if accepted by the board, is likely a better candidate to be hung indoors, rather than flown on an outdoor flag pole. He noted weather typically wears out flags every two years, and the county received only one flag from PrimeWest.