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Hartford, Connecticut (U.S.)

Hartford County

Last modified: 2018-07-27 by rick wyatt
Keywords: hartford | connecticut | hartford county |
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[flag of Hartford, Connecticut] 4:7 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.



See also:


Current Flag

Text and image(s) from American City Flags, Raven 9-10 (2002-2003), courtesy of the North American Vexillological Association, which retains copyright. Image(s) from American City Flags by permission of David B. Martucci.

Design

The flag of Hartford bears a white disk, a modified version of the city seal, centered on a blue field. Surrounding the disk is a wide blue ring reading CITY OF HARTFORD at the top and CONNECTICUT at the base, separated by two five-pointed stars, all in white. A thin white ring outlines the circumference of the blue ring. In the center of the disk is the coat of arms of the city: On a white shield is a hart fording a stream, facing the hoist; in the background is a landscape and in the foreground a single grapevine, all in blue. The outline of the shield, along with mantling of leaves across the top and sides of the shield, the American eagle with spread wings at the top of the shield facing the hoist, and the scroll with the motto POST NUBILA PHOEBUS below the shield, are in gold outlined in blue.

Note: The difference between the city seal and the one on the flag is the seal on the flag does not have SEAL OF THE in its inscription before CITY OF HARTFORD around the top of the disk.
James Croft, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Symbolism

The city was named for Hertford, England, and the hart fording a stream is a symbolic play on the name “Hartford”. In the forefront is a grapevine, a reference to the state of Connecticut, of which Hartford is the capital, as the state seal bears three grapevines. The American eagle used in the crest was a popular motif in American seals in the 1800s (the city seal was adopted on 19 April 1852). The Latin motto Post Nubila Phoebus means “After the Clouds, the Sun”.
James Croft, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Selection

Unknown.
Flag adopted: 12 September 1983 (official).
James Croft, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Designer

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

More about the Flag

A part of the preamble to the adoption of the city flag states: At the Court of Common Council meeting of 14 February 1983 a resolution was passed stating that the Court of Common Council wishes to recognize the old flag as the basis for the official City of Hartford Flag.

Later, the Traveler’s Insurance Company (Hartford is sometimes referred to as the Insurance Capital of America, with so many insurance companies which have been headquartered there or nearby) donated a royal blue flag with the seal of the city of Hartford at a special ceremony held in the court of common council.

On 12 September 1983, the mayor and the court of common council requested a resolution to accept this flag as the official flag of the City of Hartford and request that the Administration of the City of Hartford and Corporation Counsel take whatever steps necessary for the adoption and protection thereof; and be it further resolved, That the Mayor and Court of Common Council congratulate the Travelers Insurance Company for providing the City of Hartford with its first official flag … Since the mayor and court of common council requested a resolution to make the design the official flag on 12 September 1983, it appears that this, rather than 14 February 1983, is the official adoption date.
James Croft, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003


Former Flags

There was no prior official flag used by the city. However, there must have been at least one prior unofficial flag, as the language of one of the resolutions above refers to “the old flag as a basis for the official City of Hartford flag”. 
James Croft, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003


Detail of seal

[flag of Hartford, Connecticut] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 1 March 2008

There seems to be two versions of the seal: A large image at the official website www.hartford.gov/city_seal_blue.jpg shows the same details as the NAVA image shown in American Flag Survey (2004) and American City Flags (Purcell, 2003) (an extra, dark blue ring line separating the whole from white background), while in Wikipedia at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:HartfordCTseal.gif the seal edge is white, its writing and ring lines are dark blue, and the whole coat of arms is golden on white. It could be a case of slightly different seals for use on the flag (or not so slightly), but the image at Hartford.GOV is definitely not the photo of a flag - but rather a scanned drinkware pad OSLT.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 1 March 2008

Other versions of the seal can be found at:
www.the40yearplan.com/img/033007_Hartford_Seal.jpg (António Martins-Tuválkin, 15 April 2008)
www.the40yearplan.com/img/041807_Mayors_Update_Spring.jpg (Ned Smith, 15 April 2008)

It is not that unusual for an American municipality to use different color schemes or versions of its seal. However, the photographic evidence shows that the white background with blue ring version is used on the flag.
Ned Smith, 15 April 2008