In the wake of last week's horrific Boston Marathon bombing, it seemed fitting to tell you a bit about Boston City Flag History.
The city flag of Boston, Massachusetts was first proposed in 1913 by the Columbus Day Committee. Although introduced on January, 16, 1914 into the City Council, it was not officially adopted until January 30, 1917. The ordinance of its adoption gives the specifications for the colors and size of the flag, as well as where the flag is to be flown.
According to the ordinance, the flag is to be made of silk. It is to be five feet in length and three and one-half feet in width. If other sizes are made they are to be made at a ratio of 7:10. The colors of the flag are to be Continental Blue and Continental Buff. These colors were chosen because they were the uniform colors of the soldiers from Boston during the Revolutionary War and are the city colors. If fringe is on the flag, it is to be the Continental Buff color. In the center of the flag, the City Seal is to be embroidered. The flag is to be flown at City Hall and the Boston Commons area, as well as various other spots in the city. The ordinance also allows that the flag may be made as bunting to be used for decorating for patriotic holidays.
The City Seal was designed by John R. Penniman, a famous flag painter in New England, in 1823. It depicts a view of the city, including ships in the harbor and the Massachusetts State House. Below the scene is written, "Bostonia Condita A.D. 1630" in dark blue. In the top of the circle that surrounds the scene is written, "Sicut Patribus Sit Deus Nobis". Translated from the Latin this means, "God be with us as He was with our fathers". "Civitatis Regimine Donata A.D. 1822" is written in the bottom of the circle. These inscriptions are also in dark blue.
Although the ordinance gives these specifications, there are some differences in the flags that are now used. It is noted that