It could happen as early as this week, according to John Olinger, a state highway sign official.
Gov. Mark Dayton issued an executive order Wednesday requiring the Minnesota Department of Transportation to reinstate umlauts on roadway signage.
Umlauts had been used on city signs in Lindström. But when the signs were replaces following the latest U.S. Census update, MnDOT omitted the umlauts because they didn’t meet federal regulations, “Standard Alphabets for Traffic Control Devices.”
“The Swedish heritage in the Lindström area and the rest of our state should be celebrated,” said Laurie Halverson, a fifth-generation descendant of Swedish settlers and a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives. She had a hand in pushing through the umlaut restoration.
Lindström is a tourist hub in Minnesota. It attracts many international visitors including the king and queen of Sweden and as well as Ingrid Bergman in the 1940s. The town draws 3,000 Swedish tourists annually. Visitors are drawn by the history of the Chisago Lakes area and by its role in emigration from Sweden.
Lindström means “linden stream” in Swedish.
Other towns scattered across Minnesota will also benefit from the governor’s order, such as the Lake Mille Lacs community of Malmö.
Governor Dayton is not Swedish. He is part German. Germans use umlauts, too.
Read more in the Minneapolis Star Tribune article”A double dot victory: Dayton restores umlauts to Lindstrom.”