My first reaction to the Star Tribune article was shock when I read that it took the Guardsmen "several days" to come up with the design. It likely would have taken an origami expert several minutes. Also, I am a bit disappointed in the diagram because it ignores the Akira Yoshizawa standard for indicating how to do the folds. I find it to be needlessly confusing, especially if someone is not used to folding in the first place. So basically, I wish they had taken advantage of Origami MN or OrigamiUSA, or one of a thousand resources and done a proper job that would have given origami some neat publicity. But as it is, they gave the National Guard some publicity and I suppose that's good, too (since they are the ones who have to fold it so very often).
After looking up random information regarding the flag, I discovered some interesting things. First, that the flag was haphazardly designed decades after statehood. Second, that there are 23 other states that have a similar flag (i.e. blue field with an emblem in the center). Third, that there is a movement to change the flag to a new design. Actually, there are a few different movements, and I am starting to wonder if they have a point.
I guess, if the flag were to be consistently used as an identifier from long distances, it would need to change significantly. As it is, I do not think it is used as a battle flag, but more as a symbol of loyalty by state agencies. So then it really could be anything.
[The diagram is from the Star Tribune website]