Last modified: 2014-12-20 by rick wyatt
Keywords: new york | montgomery county |
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image by Jens Pattke, 3 August 2014
- indicates flag is known.
- indicates it is reported that there is no known flag.
Municipal flags in Montgomery County:
A blue flag, with the name and date of founding prominently written in gold above and below a central county seal.
John Scordato, 2 April 2002
I just visited the Montgomery County Department of History and Archives and got some information for Montgomery County, New York.
It appears the last thorough explanation of the origins of the Montgomery County, New York flag came as a response to the inquiry of a Mrs. Dorothy H. Claybourne, a Reference Assistant at the Pius XII Memorial Library at Saint Louis University in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA. This list of information was delivered on a typewritten letter dated May 31st, 1972. The Montgomery County clerk based in Fonda, New York who answered these questions is, unfortunately, not named. The information provided by this individual is as follows:
The rest of the questions posed by Mrs. Claybourne are unanswered, including (in order posed in the letter):
- - Description of the present official flag:
Size - 3' x 5'
Color - Deep purple background; letters and Co. [county] seal in Gold [sic]. (- Official County Colors.)
Lettering - 'County of Montgomery' across top; 'State of New York' across bottom; circular seal of Montgomery County in center, depicting General Richard Montgomery, his name, and 'Est. 1772.'
- - Special meaning of devices, symbolism, etc:
The County seal, in honor of General Richard Montgomery, who was born in Ireland, early entered Britain's military services, and came to the new world to help his country gain ascendancy in the French and Indian Wars. He moved permanently to New York Province, married the daughter of a prominent Colonist, and took up residence at Rhinebeck, on the Hudson River. He had become so much one with his adopted home and people that, when the Colonies revolted against 'Mother England", Richard Montgomery was commissioned a Brigadier-General, under General George Washington. The early military strategy of the Patriot forces included an exposition against English-held Quebec. With General Benedict Arnold, General Montgomery led a New Year's Eve assault on that city, but was felled by cannon fire at the outset. A few years later, in grateful remembrance of a Revolutionary hero, who gave his life and personal fortune to further the cause of freedom, residents of a very considerable area of upstate New York chose 'Montgomery' as the name of their County.
- - Designer:
Veteran Supervisor [of the town of Amsterdam, New York] Lewis Sandy, and [Montgomery] County Historian Guy Sheffer.
- - When was it first used?
April 9th, 1968
Despite the fact that the response to Mrs. Claybourne's letter specifies a "deep purple background," in the items enclosed along with the letter is a sketch of the county flag putting the design elements into words rather than graphic representations of said specifications (i.e. the words "county seal" in place of the county seal itself). In this sketch, it is noted that the background can be purple OR blue, though it is unknown why blue is listed as an alternative to one of the official county colors (deep purple), as clearly stated in the official specifications, as outlined above by the Fulton County Clerk. This is perhaps due to the need to save on manufacturing costs.
- - How was your flag selected? (Committee, competition, etc.):
- - Please give a short history of your county flag's background. (Use other side of paper if desired, and enclose whatever newspaper clippings, etc., that would be helpful in this study.
- - Is this the first flag (second, ... ) in your county's history?
- - Does your county have a motto? Please state it.
- - Add any additional information you think related to this study, please.
The April 4rd, 2002 image of the county flag posted on the Flags of the World website is the most up-to-date version of the flag, as of June 23rd, 2014.
Paul Bassinson, 23 June 2014