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Flag to represent Amherst nearing production

A year after a Barry Moser-designed flag was selected to represent Amherst in the Great Hall of Flags at the Statehouse in Boston, the town is nearly ready to have the flag produced.

Select Board member Diana Stein, who has been advocating for several years for Amherst to have a flag, said the final product will be ready to go once last-minute tweaks are made by the Hatfield illustrator. This includes Moser providing details about the Pantone colors, primarily maroon as the background, and ensuring that the word “Amherst” is sufficiently prominent at the center of the flag.

The flag depicts a U-shaped heraldic shield in the middle of the maroon background. At the center of the shield is the word “Amherst” spelled out in yellow letters. Above this is an open book, to represent the town as a place of learning, and three sheaves of wheat below indicating Amherst’s agricultural roots. The town’s founding year of 1759 is set below the middle sheaf of wheat.

Town Manager John Musante said he will assist in working out the logistics in producing the flags, which he expects to cost a few hundred dollars once a company is identified to manufacture them.

“I think people are thrilled with the design,” Musante said. “This is an important milestone for the town to have a flag.”

The process began in June 2010 and included a contest in which residents and others submitted designs. This was followed by Select Board member James Wald approaching Moser and Moser submitting nine designs, which were examined and one selected by the Design Review Board and Historical Commission.

Once flags are made, they will be placed in prominent parts of town, including the corner of Town Hall where the United States flag already flies.

“I’m eager to put the flag out,” Musante said.

The state first unveiled the idea of the Great Hall of Flags in 1992. Until the flag is produced, Amherst remains one of only a handful of 351 communities across the state not represented.

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