Boscawen resident takes issue with proposed town flag designs

Initial proposals for a town flag in Boscawen.

Initial proposals for a town flag in Boscawen. Courtesy

By JEREMY MARGOLIS

Monitor staff

Published: 04-28-2024 11:07 AM

A Boscawen resident is objecting to potential designs for a proposed town flag.

Boscawen currently does not have a flag, but at a Beautification Committee meeting earlier this month, resident Josh Crawford proposed the idea. Crawford is a vexillologist, which means he studies flags.

Four of Crawford’s five proposed designs include two town landmarks: the Hannah Duston statue and the Boscawen Congregational Church, both of which already reside on the town’s seal.

Mark Barker, 75, has issues with both.

Hannah Duston is a English colonist who is believed to have brutally killed 10 Abenaki people at the site where her monument now stands after being kidnapped during King William’s War in 1697 . The statue has previously generated scrutiny.

“I just think anything that refers back to a colonist murdering a bunch of Abenaki Indians is not something we want to put on a flag,” said Barker, a resident of Boscawen for the past 14 years.

Barker also believes that including an image of a church on the flag may violate the Constitution’s guarantee of a separation between church and state.

Crawford could not be reached for comment on his designs. Katie Phelps, Boscawen’s town administrator, and Kellee Jo Easler, the town’s director of planning and community development, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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On Monday, residents will have the first of two opportunities to weigh in on the potential designs during a Beautification Committee meeting at 5:30 p.m. at 116 North Main St. The committee will also solicit feedback a week later, on May 6.

A town flag is not without precedent in New Hampshire. At least 24 cities and towns have flags, including Concord, Laconia and Windham, according to the website CRWFlags.

Crawford said a town flag would represent the spirit and history of the town and could be placed on bumper stickers, according to April 3 meeting minutes.

After soliciting feedback over the next two weeks, Crawford plans to refine his design and present final versions of potential flags at a June 3 Beautification Committee meeting. The design would ultimately have to be approved by the town’s Select Board, according to meeting minutes.