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New Shoreham (Block Island), Rhode Island (U.S.)

Washington County

Last modified: 2020-09-12 by rick wyatt
Keywords: new shoreham | block island | rhode island | washington county |
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[Flag of New Shoreham (Block Island), Rhode Island] image by Masao Okazaki, 2 August 2020

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Description of the flag

A white field with the arms centered.

The drawing of the flag of New Shoreham, RI, is based on photos linked to by this page of the Rhode Island Liberator website:

Masao Okazaki, 2 August 2020

Eighty-five years ago, in February 1928, the coat-of-arms for the Town of New Shoreham was created by the mainland historian Howard M. Chapin.

This well-respected Providence resident cared enough about Rhode Island that he felt compelled to design a coat-of-arms for each of the state’s 39 towns and cities that did not already have one.

Chapin was not only an expert in state history, but was well-versed in the world of heraldry, where formal rules dictate what a family, a town, or any other entity, should display on their coat-of-arms. Block Island was lucky, and the three-sectioned shield that Chapin suggested is — even when allowing for my bias — the most attractive of any in the state.

Three iconic symbols comprise the design: a lion represents the English heritage of the island’s settlers in 1661; a codfish provided early residents with sustenance and wealth; and the sailboat is the island’s famed “double ender,” noted for seaworthiness and its ability to be pulled onto a beach.

The left half of the coat-of-arms is borrowed from the arms of Shoreham, England — featuring a rampant lion colored blue, amidst small blue crosses, against a silver background. The word rampant is heraldic talk for: "rearing on the left hind leg with the forelegs elevated, the right above the left, and usually with the head in profile."The right side of the shield diverges from the arms of Shoreham, England, using instead two items of significance to Block Islanders: a famous locally-designed fishing boat called a "double ender," rendered in silver against a blue background; and a codfish, a species once abundant in New England's waters and a mainstay of Block Island fishermen, shown in gold against a red background.
Robert M. Downie. The Block Island Times, 28 February 2013
Ivan Sache, 2 August 2020