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Newburyport, Massachusetts (U.S.)

Essex County

Last modified: 2019-12-16 by rick wyatt
Keywords: newburyport | massachusetts | essex county |
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[Flag of Newburyport, Massachusetts] image by Masao Okazaki, 8 July 2019

See also:

Description of the flag

A Facebook post shows a new flag:

Boston Globe article:

Newburyport celebrates 250 years, will unveil official flag
By Julie Masis Globe Correspondent,August 7, 2014

The historic shipbuilding city of Newburyport will throw a community clambake Sunday on Plum Island to celebrate its 250th anniversary, and also will mark the occasion by unveiling its first official flag. Images featured on candidates for the official city flag, submitted by seven longtime residents, include Newburyport’s skyline, the city’s seal, the Merrimack River, and the recently built wind turbine. Until now, Newburyport has only had provisional flags, such as the militia flag used in the late 1700s, and another that was created to mark the city’s 200th anniversary, according to Ghlee Woodworth, a 12th-generation resident and local historian.
Masao Okazaki, 8 July 2019

Earlier flag

[Flag of Newburyport, Massachusetts] from

A white flag with the town seal in blue showing a coat of arms, shield quartered, two female characters as supporters, a crown and handshake above, motto TERRA MARIQUE (By Land and Sea), the town name above, and date of incorporation in Roman numerals below. Newburyport is in Essex County.
Dov Gutterman, 10 November 2002

The website at reports "Among the first decrees and ordinances passed by the new City Government was Ordinance No. 14, "To Establish the City Arms and Seal." The ordinance reads ...

"Be it ordained, &c., as follows:
Section 1. The Arms of the City shall be the following, to wit: Quarterly, first, two light-houses, in the distance, a ship under full sail; second, a steam-mill; third, a ship on the stocks; and fourth, the seal of Newbury, in England, on a mount three domed towers, on each a pennon, crest, a mural coronet surmounted by two hands conjoined; supporters, two female figures, that on the dexter side representing America, that on the sinister, Massachusetts; scroll, Terra Marique.
Section 2. The seal of the city shall bear as a device, the shield, crest and scroll of the arms of the city, with the legend, 'City of Newburyport, A.D. MDCCCLI'."
More details about the significance of these symbols can be found on the website.
Valentin Poposki, 23 September 2005

Sesquicentennial flag

[Sesquicentennial Flag of Newburyport, Massachusetts] located by Valentin Poposki, 23 September 2005
Source: (image since removed).

Yankee Homecoming Festival Flag

[Yankee Homecoming Festival Flag of Newburyport, Massachusetts] image located by Dave Martucci, 11 October 2010

Newburyport also has another flag that is used on an annual basis. Known as the "Yankee Homecoming Festival Flag" it is used to announce and officiate the annual festival, held since 1957.

The flag was introduced in 1966 at the instigation of Ralph Ayers, a permanent member of the organizing committee. It was designed by Tony Barbaro, a designer at the Towle Manufacturing Co. and it consists of 11 alternate blue and white stripes, with a white canton (6 stripes high) bearing a tricorn hat on top of a sword, surrounded by 11 stars, all in blue. According to a 30 July 2010 article published at ("Flag has become festival's symbol" by Victor Tine) the number 11 has absolutely no meaning and the choice of blue and white was simply due to the fact that those were the cheapest flag colors available.

There are two sizes used. A small size used on automobile antennas to announce the upcoming festival and a large size that flies during the festival. This flag has also flown over Newburyport's sister city in Vietnam and over the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

From, Newburyport, MA
July 30, 2010

Flag has become festival's symbol
by Victor Tine, Staff writer

NEWBURYPORT — The year was 1966. Yankee Homecoming permanent committee member Ralph Ayers thought Newburyport's 9-year-old midsummer festival needed a unifying symbol. Ayers took his idea to Tony Barbaro, a designer at Towle Manufacturing Co., the silver flatware and holloware maker that was at the time one of the keystones of the city's economy. Barbaro came back with a blue and white striped flag. In the upper left quadrant, Barbaro placed a tricorn hat and a sword and surrounded them with 11 stars. "I asked him what the stars symbolized," Ayers recalled. "And he said, 'I have no idea.'"

The banner was an instant hit, Ayers said. The Yankee Homecoming committee ordered two sizes. To announce Homecoming, people would fly the smaller banner from the antenna of their cars, he said.

Barbaro, who has since died, never wanted credit for the design that has become synonymous with Yankee Homecoming, Ayers said. "He said, 'Don't ever tell anybody,'" Ayers said. Ayers said the blue-and-white color scheme for the flag was a matter of necessity. "They were the cheapest colors to make," he said.

The flag is ceremoniously raised and lowered to mark the beginning and end of the festival each year. It's flying now on the flagpole at Bartlet Mall on High Street. The flag made its first appearance during the same year that a monument was dedicated in memory of Sylvio "Joe" Rochette, who was Yankee Homecoming's first town crier.
Dave Martucci, 15 April 2018


[Municipal seal] image located by Paul Bassinson, 21 August 2019

Paul Bassinson, 21 August 2019