BOSTON – Today, State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D- Pittsfield) and State Representative Gailanne M. Cariddi (D- North Adams) presented Williamstown’s new town flag to the Bureau of the State House. The Bureau was represented by Ayanna Clark, State House Events Coordinator. The ceremony took place in Downing’s Beacon Hill office.
Caption: State House Events Coordinator Ayanna Clark, Rep. Gailanne Cariddi and Sen. Ben Downing welcome the Williamstown flag to Beacon Hill.
The Bureau maintains and manages the historic Massachusetts State House as a destination for visitors and a functioning workplace. The State House is the seat of state government activities in the Commonwealth.
After it is properly cataloged and photographed, the Bureau will raise Williamstown’s flag in the Great Hall of Flags, the largest function room of the State House. Two decades ago the Bureau began collecting flags from the 351 Commonwealth communities to display them throughout the Great Hall, thereby also improving the acoustics of the room.
Williamstown’s flag was presented to the legislators during the Select Board’s meeting on Monday night. A Flag Committee comprised of two local artists, a local student and a Select Board member chose the final design. Committee member Tom Sheldon explained the flag design is the result of combining concepts from two designs. The design process was open to the community and exemplified teamwork and true artistic collaboration. Sheldon believes the Williamstown flag “reflects the history, beauty and some key values of this special town.”
Williamstown’s flag depicts colorful rolling hills, including Mount Greylock, green fields and trees, the 1753 House and the words “Culture,” “Education,” and “Nature.” It also includes “1765” -- the year of the community’s incorporation.
Since 2009, and at the request of the Bureau, Downing has actively encouraged local Boards of Selectmen in the communities not currently represented in the Great Hall to submit a flag. To date Downing has proudly sponsored flag presentation ceremonies for Egremont, Monterey, Mount Washington, New Marlborough, Otis, Pittsfield, Stockbridge, Tyringham, Williamstown, and Worthington.
There are eight remaining towns in Downing’s Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin & Hampden district without a flag in the Great Hall: Alford, Hawley, Middlefield, New Ashford, Savoy, Westhampton, West Stockbridge, and Williamsburg. Middlefield is in the process of adopting a town flag.
The Bureau estimates that less than twenty missing town flags are required to complete the Great Hall’s collection. There are 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts, each have been asked by the Bureau to submit a flag.
Community groups, municipal officials or residents interested in creating a town flag for Alford, Hawley, New Ashford, Savoy, Westhampton, West Stockbridge or Williamsburg should contact the Senator’s State House office at (617) 722-1625.