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New Haven, Connecticut (U.S.)

New Haven County

Last modified: 2024-01-16 by rick wyatt
Keywords: new haven | connecticut | new haven county | all-america city award |
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[flag of New Haven, Connecticut] image by Masao Okazaki, 12 August 2022
based on image

See also:

Description of the flag

The city clerk of the City of New Haven, Connecticut, informed me that the city uses a white flag with a black city seal on it. Wikipedia shows the flag with a blue seal. Here:
Valentin Poposki, 29 October 2008

I have seen a copy of the New Haven City Flag up close in New Haven and the seal was printed in dark blue. Here is an account of the designing of the seal from the New Haven Public Library:

In "History of the City of New Haven to the Present Time" (Edward E. Atwater, ed., 1887; p. 458), a slightly different design is depicted with an inscription above the disk that reads "MARE LIBERUM." On the same page it is mentioned that the original seal was lost and that there had been "a good deal of discussion as to the lost seal formerly used, but its history has become covered with obscurity."

In "Three Centuries of New Haven, 1638-1938" Rollin Osterweis wrote the following about the original seal:

When our citizens look upon the original seal of their city, they are inspecting the joint handiwork of two distinguished New Haveners, Ezra Stiles and James Hillhouse. Collaborating with them was Josiah Meigs, clerk of the city administration and a tutor on the college faculty. The story of the designing of the seal emerges from entries in Stiles' Diary, during February, 1785. On February 3 the president noted: "With Messrs. Hillhouse and Meigs devising a City Seal." Eight days later he wrote triumphantly: "Finished the City Seal. The Devise, the Harbour of New Haven, a Ship at the Entrance, and an Ionic Pillar entwined with a Grape Vine. Under the Ship at the Mouth of the Harbour, MARE LIBERUM; and round the Seal SIGILL. CIVITAT. NOVI-PORT. IN REPUB. CONNECTICUTENSI. 1784."
Both the motto "Mare Liberum" and the grapevine appear to have been lost to history.
Dave Martucci, 25 August 2010

As resolved in June 1888, "Whereas, the city of New Haven has neither national flag or city flag to display upon said monument; therefore be it resolved, that this post request the city government to provide a national flag and city flag for the soldier's monument..." It also appears a few references in newspapers a few years after make mention of the city flag, so it is certain that the first city flag of New Haven was adopted in 1888, though I assume it was a very "basic" flag, perhaps white with a seal or simply letters, though no information on this exists. For one of the earliest city flags, there is a massive lack of buzz about it, perhaps because it seems its only purpose was to decorate a soldier's monument and was not at all considered by those visiting.
Daniel Rentería, 18 December 2023


Detail of Seal

[seal of New Haven, Connecticut] image by Dave Martucci, 25 August 2010

All-America City Award

Quoting the National Civic League website:
"The All-America City Award is America's oldest and most prestigious community recognition award. Since 1949 the All-America City Award has encouraged and recognized civic excellence, honoring communities of all sizes (cities, towns, counties, neighborhoods and regions) in which citizens, government, businesses and voluntary organizations work together to address critical local issues."

The town of New Haven, Connecticut, became one of the ten winners of the 2008 All-America City Award. A photograph by Paul Bass, published in "The New Haven Independent", 25 September 2008*, shows what seems to be the flag granted to the winners of the award, that is, most probably, the All-America City Award emblem placed on a white background, with "2008" placed below the emblem, and, maybe, something added above the shield (the town's name?). The emblem of the All-America City Award is shown on the NCL website mentioned above. It is made of an "American shield", red with five vertical white stripes, a blue chief with five white stars and, between the main field and the chief, a white rectangle charged with "All-America City" in blue letters. The ® sign is placed near the lower right part of the shield. On the photograph, the upper part of the emblem is not visible, while the ® sign is clearly visible.
Ivan Sache, 20 October 2008

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