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Rye, New Hampshire (U.S.)

Rockingham County

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[Flag of Rye, New Hampshire] image by Masao Okazaki, 5 July 2019
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Description of the flag

By Brian Early,
Posted Dec. 9, 2014

RYE - The town now has an official flag.
Unveiled at Monday's Board of Selectmen's meeting, designer and current Portsmouth High School student Willem Garrish, was commended for the flag design and incorporating three important dates in Rye history. "Decades from now, you will say, 'One of the things I did was design a flag,'" said board chairman Craig Musselman. "This flag will be around for a very long time."

Garrish designed the winning flag design during an assignment while a seventh-grader at Rye Junior High. "I was going for simplicity," he said of the design. "I wanted the coastal feeling of Rye." The art teacher who gave the assignment, Laura Sunderland, was also present at the unveiling Monday to support her student's design. "I decided to do it with all the seventh-graders," she said. "Certain students decided to submit theirs for the contest."

The contest was initiated by Michael Mittelman and Harry Lowell, who first appeared before selectman in 2012 to propose that Rye have its own town flag. Students were encouraged to put forth design ideas to be selected. Mittelman, an active member in the Rye Historical Society, died in September but was able to see a copy of the flag before he died. His widow, Geraldine Mittelman, and one of his four daughters, Julie Whitehouse of New Castle, were present at Monday's meeting to see Michael's project come to fruition. "It was one of his best accomplishments of the end of his life," Whitehouse said.

One of the benefits of the flag is that it corrects some errors of the town history - mainly when the town was incorporated, which was 1785, not 1726. The incorrect date has made its way to some of the public works vehicles, said Alex Herlihy, director of the Rye Historical Society. The year 1726 was when Rye became its own parish, splitting from New Castle, he said. The new flag list three dates: the founding in 1623, becoming a parish in 1726 and incorporation in 1785.
Located by Dave Fowler, 29 December 2014