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Manchester, New Hampshire (U.S.)

Hillsborough County

Last modified: 2018-07-25 by rick wyatt
Keywords: manchester | new hampshire | hillsborough county |
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[Flag of Manchester, New Hampshire] 2:3 image(s) by permission of David B. Martucci
image(s) from American City Flags, Raven 9-10 (2002-2003), courtesy of the North American Vexillological Association, which retains copyright.

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The flag of Manchester places the city seal in color in the center of a white field. The seal has a black ring around it, edged in gold. In the ring CITY OF MANCHESTER curves clockwise above, and INCORPORATED JUNE 1846 curves counterclockwise below, all in gold. These inscriptions are separated on either side by a gold four-pointed star with a circle in its center. The shield contains three sections: it is divided horizontally, with the upper half further divided in half vertically. In the upper hoist section is a blue waterfall in front of a mountain range, with two green pine trees. In the upper fly section is a black regulator and gear on a green background. In the lower section are two factory buildings and the partial façade of a third. In front of them, a locomotive hauls a transportation-car loaded with manufactured goods below a blue sky and upon green grass. The shield’s sections are separated by a narrow white line, the same width as the shield’s white fimbriation. In the crest position is a workman’s arm, sleeve rolled up, holding a hammer, with a heraldic ribbon behind reading LABOR on the hoist side and VINCIT on the fly side.
James Croft, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003


The three stripes of blue, white, and yellow are supposed to commemorate the colors of the Dutch, as Jersey City was located in the province of New Netherlands. However, the color yellow would more appropriately be orange, as blue, white, and orange were the colors in the Dutch national flag and its trading companies in the early 1600s. The sailing ship is the Half Moon, in which the explorer Henry Hudson sailed up the Hudson River in 1609. Jersey City is on the west side of this river, across from Manhattan Island. Today the ships represent the maritime commerce of the city. The pier heads in the background reflect the early Dutch settlement established here in 1630 as Communipaw.
James Croft, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003


James Croft, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003


James Croft, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

More about the Flag

As far as can be determined, the flag was first flown during the 1996 sesquicentennial celebrations of Manchester’s incorporation in 1846. The seal itself was adopted by city ordinance on 22 December 1846.
James Croft, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Detail of the seal

[Flag of Manchester, New Hampshire] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 20 March 2008

The Latin motto, "Labor Vincit", translates to "Hard Work Prevails".
Ivan Sache, 24 August 2016

Former flag

Manchester had a flag by 6 April 1965, perhaps earlier. This flag had a field of “yellowish gold” with the city seal within a dark blue ring outlined in light blue on the outside and embroidered with gold letters, but without Manchester, New Hampshire 205 JC the stars. Some of the devices on the shield also have different colors from the current version. The mountains in the upper hoist section of the former version are white, not green, and in the upper fly section the black regulator is on a white background instead of green. In the lower section, the train runs across brown land instead of green. In the current crest above the shield, the arm holding the hammer overlaps the top of the shield and is oriented toward the fly; in the older version the arm is entirely above the shield and oriented toward the hoist, which corresponds to the image shown with the official ordinance. It is likely that the differences in colors are due to the interpretation of the seal by the flags’ manufacturers, since the ordinance establishing the seal sets no colors. 
James Croft, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Possible flag change

Aldermen signed off Tuesday on setting up a committee to solicit designs for a new civic flag for Manchester, while making no promises the effort would actually result in a new banner for the Queen City. While openly disagreeing on the need for a new city flag, members of the Aldermanic Committee on Administration and Information Systems voted unanimously to put together a committee to go forward and ask the community to submit designs, saying the exercise could generate a boatload of civic pride, if not a new banner.

Board of Mayor and Aldermen Chairman Pat Long of Ward 3 told committee members he was approached by city resident Adam Hlasny with the idea for a citywide effort to design a new flag for Manchester. Hlasny said he was inspired by a TED talk given by Roman Mars, the host of a design and architecture radio show. In the talk Mars said while there is something powerful and unifying about a well-designed city flag, there are a lot of badly designed ones. - New Hampshire Union Leader, 16 August 2016

Manchester resident Adam Hlasny will go before the Aldermanic Committee on Administration and Information Systems today at 5:30 p.m. in the Aldermanic Chambers at City Hall to pitch his idea for a city-wide effort to design a new flag for the Queen City.

"The vertical tricolor design is a tribute to Manchester’s French, French-Canadian, and Irish heritage, while brick-colored gears represent the industry and hard work that made and continue to make Manchester great," said Hlasny. "They each have six teeth, in sum representing Manchester’s 12 wards, working in cooperation to propel the city forward."

The flag also contains a blue center stripe representing the Merrimack River running through the city, while a green stripe represents the city’s 900-plus acres of parks and green spaces. - New Hampshire Union Leader, 15 August 2016

Adam Hlasny's profile:
Ivan Sache, 24 August 2016