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More than three years later, new flag flies over Amherst

  • Celebrating the new town flag from left: Chamber of Commerce director Tony Maroulis, Rotary Club of Amherst members Dick Mathews and Thad Dabrowski, Stan Ziomek, Georgia Moore, artist Barry Moser; Amherst Select Board members Diana Stein, Stephanie O'Keeffe, Alisa Brewer and, far right, James Wald; and Town Manager John Musante.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Celebrating the new town flag from left: Chamber of Commerce director Tony Maroulis, Rotary Club of Amherst members Dick Mathews and Thad Dabrowski, Stan Ziomek, Georgia Moore, artist Barry Moser; Amherst Select Board members Diana Stein, Stephanie O'Keeffe, Alisa Brewer and, far right, James Wald; and Town Manager John Musante.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Georgia Moore, left, president of the Rotary Club of Amherst, speaks while holding the new Amherst Town flag beside Amherst Select Board member Diana Stein during a ceremony at the start of the Select Board meeting Monday at Town Hall. She presented the flag to Stephanie O'Keeffe, the Select Board chair, background right. The flag will hang in the State House. Another flag hangs in the background over O'Keeffe and John Musante, the chief administrative officer.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Georgia Moore, left, president of the Rotary Club of Amherst, speaks while holding the new Amherst Town flag beside Amherst Select Board member Diana Stein during a ceremony at the start of the Select Board meeting Monday at Town Hall. She presented the flag to Stephanie O'Keeffe, the Select Board chair, background right. The flag will hang in the State House. Another flag hangs in the background over O'Keeffe and John Musante, the chief administrative officer.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Amherst Select Board member Diana Stein, left, presents a new Amherst town flag to Georgia Moore, president of the Rotary Club of Amherst, during a ceremony at the start of the Select Board meeting Monday at Town Hall. Another flag hangs in the background over Stephanie O'Keeffe, the chair of the Select Board.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Amherst Select Board member Diana Stein, left, presents a new Amherst town flag to Georgia Moore, president of the Rotary Club of Amherst, during a ceremony at the start of the Select Board meeting Monday at Town Hall. Another flag hangs in the background over Stephanie O'Keeffe, the chair of the Select Board.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tony Maroulis, from left; Rotary Club of Amherst members Dick Mathews, Thad Dabrowski, Stan Ziomek, and Georgia Moore; artist Barry Moser; Amherst Select Board members Diana Stein, Stephanie O'Keeffe, Alisa Brewer and, far right, James Wald; and Amherst Chief Administrative Officer John Musante gather to hold the new Amherst town flag before a Select Board meeting Monday at Town Hall.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tony Maroulis, from left; Rotary Club of Amherst members Dick Mathews, Thad Dabrowski, Stan Ziomek, and Georgia Moore; artist Barry Moser; Amherst Select Board members Diana Stein, Stephanie O'Keeffe, Alisa Brewer and, far right, James Wald; and Amherst Chief Administrative Officer John Musante gather to hold the new Amherst town flag before a Select Board meeting Monday at Town Hall.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Select Board member Diana Stein presents copies of the new Amherst town flag to Tony Maroulis, left, and Barry Moser during a ceremony at Town Hall.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Select Board member Diana Stein presents copies of the new Amherst town flag to Tony Maroulis, left, and Barry Moser during a ceremony at Town Hall.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tony Maroulis, from left; Rotary Club of Amherst members Dick Mathews, Thad Dabrowski, Stan Ziomek, and Georgia Moore; artist Barry Moser; Amherst Select Board members Diana Stein, Stephanie O'Keeffe, Alisa Brewer and, far right, James Wald; and Amherst Chief Administrative Officer John Musante gather to hold the new Amherst town flag before a Select Board meeting Monday at Town Hall.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tony Maroulis, from left; Rotary Club of Amherst members Dick Mathews, Thad Dabrowski, Stan Ziomek, and Georgia Moore; artist Barry Moser; Amherst Select Board members Diana Stein, Stephanie O'Keeffe, Alisa Brewer and, far right, James Wald; and Amherst Chief Administrative Officer John Musante gather to hold the new Amherst town flag before a Select Board meeting Monday at Town Hall.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Celebrating the new town flag from left: Chamber of Commerce director Tony Maroulis, Rotary Club of Amherst members Dick Mathews and Thad Dabrowski, Stan Ziomek, Georgia Moore, artist Barry Moser; Amherst Select Board members Diana Stein, Stephanie O'Keeffe, Alisa Brewer and, far right, James Wald; and Town Manager John Musante.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Georgia Moore, left, president of the Rotary Club of Amherst, speaks while holding the new Amherst Town flag beside Amherst Select Board member Diana Stein during a ceremony at the start of the Select Board meeting Monday at Town Hall. She presented the flag to Stephanie O'Keeffe, the Select Board chair, background right. The flag will hang in the State House. Another flag hangs in the background over O'Keeffe and John Musante, the chief administrative officer.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Amherst Select Board member Diana Stein, left, presents a new Amherst town flag to Georgia Moore, president of the Rotary Club of Amherst, during a ceremony at the start of the Select Board meeting Monday at Town Hall. Another flag hangs in the background over Stephanie O'Keeffe, the chair of the Select Board.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tony Maroulis, from left; Rotary Club of Amherst members Dick Mathews, Thad Dabrowski, Stan Ziomek, and Georgia Moore; artist Barry Moser; Amherst Select Board members Diana Stein, Stephanie O'Keeffe, Alisa Brewer and, far right, James Wald; and Amherst Chief Administrative Officer John Musante gather to hold the new Amherst town flag before a Select Board meeting Monday at Town Hall.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Select Board member Diana Stein presents copies of the new Amherst town flag to Tony Maroulis, left, and Barry Moser during a ceremony at Town Hall.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tony Maroulis, from left; Rotary Club of Amherst members Dick Mathews, Thad Dabrowski, Stan Ziomek, and Georgia Moore; artist Barry Moser; Amherst Select Board members Diana Stein, Stephanie O'Keeffe, Alisa Brewer and, far right, James Wald; and Amherst Chief Administrative Officer John Musante gather to hold the new Amherst town flag before a Select Board meeting Monday at Town Hall.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

In the near future, visitors to the Great Hall of Flags at the Statehouse in Boston will also get to view Amherst’s new flag.

After a more than three-year process, Amherst’s official flag, designed by Hatfield illustrator Barry Moser, was formally unveiled Monday evening.

Select Board Chairwoman Stephanie O’Keeffe said it is a wonderful honor that Amherst will finally have a flag, as the town has been one of a few of the 351 communities in the state not represented in the Great Hall, which opened in 1992 as a colorful display and to reduce the echo in the assembly room.

The largest flag, produced by Sentry Uniform in Chicopee with a donation from the Rotary Club of Amherst, will head to Boston.

“We’re thrilled that it’s completed,” said Georgia Moore, president of the Rotary, which gave nearly $400 for the project.

“How proud we are to make this project possible,” Moore said. “We didn’t hesitate when asked.”

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

The year the town was founded, 1759, is set below the middle sheaf of wheat.

Select Board member Diana Stein, who spearheaded the push for a town flag, said it began Sept. 3, 2009, when international students visiting Amherst were given a tour of the Statehouse by state Rep. Ellen Story and were told Amherst didn’t have a flag there.

The design process began in June 2010 and included a contest in which residents and others submitted designs, an online vote and then review by the Design Review Board and Historical Commission.

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.

Rotary got involved because member Mason Lowance had accompanied the international students and thought it was a good project

The nearly 100 members of the civic organization agreed. Thad Dabrowski said this is typical of the kind of projects Rotary has been engaged in since the Amherst chapter was founded in 1927. The Rotary also funds an annual $25,000 grant, $13,000 to community organizations and another $6,000 to $7,000 in scholarships.

O’Keeffe thanked the Rotary members for the donation. “We’re appreciative to Rotary for this gift,” O’Keeffe said.

Rotary’s contribution ensured a good end product, Stein said, calling it “the very best quality flag that could be produced.”

An additional 12 flags that will fly around town were paid for with an $857 donation from the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce. Executive Director Tony Maroulis said making the donation was a matter of civic pride.

“All the stars aligned because Barry’s such an amazing artist. This is a classy, beautiful piece,” Maroulis said.

Maroulis, who was given one of the smaller 3-foot by 5-foot flags, said it will be displayed at the Chamber’s Amity Street office. Another flag was given to Moser for his contribution.

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