PITTSFIELD – This afternoon State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D- Pittsfield) received the Town of Egremont’s new, official flag from Susan P. Bachelder, secretary of the Egremont Historical Commission. On behalf of the community, Downing will bring the flag to Boston and present it to Bureau of State Office Buildings (BSB) officials, so it can be displayed in the Great Hall of the Massachusetts State House.
The Great Hall is the largest function room in the State House, decorated with flags representing the 351 Massachusetts cities and towns. While the practice of displaying municipal flags began two decades ago, the Massachusetts Art Commission is now working hard to complete the collection by the 20th anniversary of the program -- June 2014. This past March, at the request of the Commission’s Art Collection Manager, Downing contacted local officials in the last dozen communities of his district without a flag and encouraged them to submit one.
According to Bachelder, Egremont chose to design a flag that the Town could continue to use, rather than a single event banner to simply hang at the State House. Therefore, Egremont’s flag follows the protocols for flag design and is composed of three colors and a minimum number of design elements.
While designing the flag, Bachelder also researched the history behind Egremont’s seal, which was based on the shield of Lord Egremont, after whom the community is named. Egremont’s flag design uses an updated shield, as well as two chevrons, representing North and South Egremont, which are joined by a smaller chevron, representing Baldwin Hill. The flags colors are a variation of the American flag, with the upper blue holding company with the blue of the original Egremont shield. The lower blue is Legion Blue, the red is held in the seal, and the white mountains of western Massachusetts are represented by the chevrons.
In the near future Downing and State Representative Wm. Smitty Pignatelli (D- Lenox) will officially present Egremont’s flag to BSB Superintendent Tammy Kraus at the State House.
The last eleven towns in Downing’s Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin & Hampden district without a flag in the Great Hall are Alford, Hawley, Middlefield, New Ashford, Plainfield, Savoy, Westhampton, West Stockbridge, Williamsburg, Williamstown and Windsor. Residents or officials seeking information on creating a flag are encouraged to contact the Senator’s State House office.