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York, Maine (U.S.)

York County

Last modified: 2013-10-19 by rick wyatt
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250th anniversary flag (1902 - reconstruction)

[reconstruction of 250th anniversary flag of York, Maine] image by Dave Martucci, 27 January 2012

I have found a description of flags used in the Town of York, Maine (in, but a separate governmental entity from, York County) on August 5, 1902 in honor of the 250th Anniversary of the Town. The source is "Agamenticus, Bristol, Gorgeana, York--An Oration Delivered by the Hon. James Phinney Baxter, President of the Maine Historical Society in York, Maine, on the Two Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary of the  Town, Together With a Brief History of York and a Descriptive Account of the Celebration of this Anniversary, with a Complete Index of Names and Historic Events August 5, 1902" published by the Old York Historical and Improvement Society, York, Maine, 1904, pages 4 and 5:

"Hotels, private residences, and stores along the route of the procession, and as far as York Corner, were appropriately, and in many instances elaborately, decorated with flags and bunting, amid which could frequently be discerned the restored first ensign of New England, showing the red cross and the pine tree. Few, indeed, were the buildings along the four miles of highway traversed which did not have some bit of color in honor of the day.
...
"On this day was hoisted over the Old Jail the flag designed after the ancient flag of New England, bearing the red cross and the pine tree. The original design bore in the centre of the cross the monogram of the crown, with the letters J.R. for Jacobus Rex. The drawing is from authentic records in the British State Paper Office in London, and the design, with the King James II monogram restored, appears on the title page of this volume. This flag, together with the large American flag on the main flagstaff of the building, were the generous gift, in honor of the day, or Mr. Walter M. Smith, the President of the Old York Historical and Improvement Society."
While it is not altogether clear if the flag cited did or did not bear the crown and cypher of King James II (I tend to think not), since York County has a legitimate claim to the flag without the added emblems, I have illustrated the flag used in 1902 as having the additional emblems. The "original design", of course, did not have the pine tree on it; it was a military color introduced by Governor Sir Edmund Andros of the Dominion of New England in the period 1686-1688 for his private guard. Some sources cite it as the flag for the Dominion itself, but that is not correct.

Agamenticus, Gorgeana, and Bristol were the earlier names (in order) for what was later named the Town of York, which for a time was the principal settlement and capital of York County in the Province of Maine. Presently the County Seat (as we call the capital here) is Alfred.