October 16, 2018
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A small Maine town wants its own flag

Dave Martucci via Lincoln County | BDN
Dave Martucci via Lincoln County | BDN
A draft design for a Bristol town flag by Washington vexillologist Dave Martucci.

The Bristol selectmen on May 2 reviewed a draft design of a town flag, created by vexillologist Dave Martucci.

According to Town Administrator Chris Hall, Lincoln Academy students have requested town flags to hang at the school. Bristol does not have a town flag.

Hall contacted Martucci, who lives in Washington and has been involved in vexillology since 1966, to draft a flag design. Vexillology is the study of flags.

The design includes diagonal sections or “gyrons” alternating between blue and white. This represents the light from the Pemaquid Point lighthouse, which “guides navigators, much as the people of Bristol guide their town into the future,” Martucci said in an email to Hall.

[Maine’s once forgotten original state flag is making a comeback]

The design incorporates a red St. George’s cross, which indicates the origins of the colonial settlers.

Martucci chose the colors of red, white, and blue to echo the colors of the American flag, with blue also being the base color of the state flag.

In the center of the flag is a shield bearing a white ship on a blue sea under a light blue sky.

The shield with a ship on broiling waters recalls the ship Angel Gabriel, which brought English settlers to the area and is found on the early Pemaquid seal.

According to a plaque at Pemaquid Harbor, the 240-ton passenger galleon sank in a hurricane off Pemaquid Point on Aug. 15, 1635, one day after its arrival from Bristol, England.

The flag also features a tower, which represents Fort William Henry and the strength of the people of Bristol to protect their community, according to the proposal.

“It is not a coincidence that the coat of arms of Bristol, England, the town’s namesake, [also] includes the color red, a ship, and a tower,” Martucci said.

Lincoln County towns with town flags include Newcastle, Waldoboro and Wiscasset.

Martucci, who is also an antique flag assessor, helped design the Thomaston and Washington town flags.

“If the Lincoln Academy students would like to have a town flag, I think we can accommodate them,” Bristol Board of Selectmen Chair Chad Hanna said.

Selectman Paul Yates said the design is creative, but suggested that the flag feature the town seal instead in a simpler design.

The selectmen decided to send the draft to the Old Bristol Historical Society for its input.

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