Monday, November 9, 2015

An Excellent Flag: Crozet, Virginia

I have been known to complain about bad civic heraldry. But today I would like to praise a worthy example.

Crozet, VA is a small unincorporated town of around 6,000 people a few miles west of Charlottesville. It is named for Claudius Crozet, a French engineer who, among other things, served as the first president of the Virginia Military Institute. As the Crozet Gazette explains:
In 1996, looking for symbol for the Crozet community, the Crozet Community Association investigated the family heraldry of the town namesake. Three emblems for the name were discovered in old French heraldry books at the University of Virginia Library, but all were depicted in black and white. For one, the least complex coat-of-arms, there was a description of the emblem’s colors and therefore it was officially adopted by the CCA and stickers and a handful of flags were made. The colors are happily compatible with the American flag. The emblem dates from the 1300s.
This flag has all the attributes of a good flag or coat of arms: it is simple, clear, distinctive, historically grounded, and aesthetically pleasing. Thus, it comes as little surprise that, although Crozet is a small community, its flag is a fairly common sight in the back window of vehicles in the area. I can only hope that more communities follow Crozet's example of using well-designed heraldic symbols to foster civic pride.

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