When Daniel Ward was the Town Executive of Amherst, he felt that because the surrounding towns all had their own flags, Amherst should have its own. Flags are simple ways to show unity among a community, therefore, they are important to have them—especially for towns. To get a design for the town flag, a completion was held. A myriad of designs were submitted with our current flag declared the winner.
The current flag design for Amherst has a red background, large gold “A”, the town’s year of founding, and a bright blue band near the bottom. Though it is nice to have a flag, the flag violates many of the standard rules of flag design. When compared to many national, state and municipal flags, our flag stands out for an unpleasant reason.
Most flags follow three simple rules: use a simple design so it is easy to replicate, use two to three colors, and use no words.
Out of the three rules, Amherst’s flag violates two. There is a large letter “A” and a complex design with the shape of the town in the middle. Though it breaks the rules, it is unfortunately not an outlier. The Cheektowaga, Tonawanda, North Tonawanda, and Buffalo flags all break at least one of these rules.
Putting aside the rules, it is genuinely nice to have our own flag. Even though there has not been wide adoption of the flag, it can be seen in several areas around town. On occasion, the Amherst Municipal Building has raised the flag. Driving along Harlem Road, the flag is almost always flying in the middle of both roundabouts.
During the Eye’s interview with Daniel Ward about the town flag, one thing was stressed. We have done a poor job preserving our local history.
When the flag was made, it was made simply for the sake of have a flag. Due to that, the flag’s colors have no symbolism. Is the flag the best it can be?
Probably not, but as it became apparent when trying to design the flag, not many people cared. Even when it was created, it didn’t receive wide adoption. Thankfully, the flag’s design does not have to be permanent. If the population of the town doesn’t like the design, new designs can be submitted and voted on to try and change it.