History of The Bernards Township Flag

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Bernards Township has an impressive history that dates back to the early 1600s. One of the things that the Mr. Local History Project started digging into are the origins of the Bernards Township official flag. Let’s see what we’ve found.

As with all Mr. Local History retrospectives, we often update the post when we learn stories and are sent photos from our internet community. We will continue to grow this piece as information becomes available. If you have a comment or photo, feel free to post at the bottom of this page or drop us a note.

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Bernards Township Flag Design

A flag defines the fabric of a country, a state, a county, or a cause. But to have a flag for a town is very unique and only available for a few select areas looking to affirm their place in history. Designed by a local resident, if you take a look, there is meaning in every part of its structure. The Bernards Township flag is a very simple design; two oak leaves on a four square pattern. A white strip bounds the top and bottom. Designed back in 1960 to honor the 200th anniversary of the founding charter of what was then Bernardston, James Fogelman, a local resident, presented his version and reasoning for the flag that became the historic icon of Bernards Township.

The Bernards Township flag. Three colors, red, gold, and white along with two oak tree leaves showcase the flag’s simplicity yet impactful meaning. Red-Blood of Life, Gold, Prosperity, White- Purity – and two oak leaves honoring each 100 years of the townships official founding. And yes they are Oak Leaves derived from the Great Oak of Basking Ridge.

Four rectangles of gold and red that stand for the four communities of which Bernards is composed: Basking Ridge, Liberty Corner, Lyons and West Millington. Bound in white, symbolic of purity and truth, the red is for the blood of life and the gold is for a prosperous and flourishing community. White is for purity.
Two enormous oak leafs adorning the red-gold field represent the township’s old oak tree, a symbol of strength, sturdiness and character. The twin oak leaves also stand for the township’s 200 years.

James Fogleman, Bernards Township Resident who designed the original Bernards township flag

Bernards Township Flag History

Throughout Bernards Township’s history the township flag has been used as the backdrop to honor local history, first at the 200th Bicentennial anniversary in 1960, and then at the Bernards Township 250th anniversary in 2010.

200th Anniversary / Bicentennial Flag

The Bicentennial flag was officially recognized as the official town flag of Bernards Township and was first raised by Peter L. Heimbach of Basking Ridge, and Henry R. Lounsbury Jr. from Liberty Corner on Saturday, May 21, 1960 at 9:30am and 10:30am respectively.

Bernards Township Committee minutes – May 17, 1960.
Bernards-Flag 200th-Anniversary-Mr-Local-History
200th Anniversary Bernards Township Flag
The unveiling of the first official flag of Bernards Township on May 17, 1960 at Township Hall.

The flag was originally designed by James Fogelman, a Berta Place resident who served on the Bernards Township Bicentennial Committee. Fogelman also served on the Planning Board and worked at Ciba Pharmaceuticals as design director of the U.S. Ciba subsidiary located in Summit, NJ. 

After Fogelman’s design was accepted by the Bicentennial Committee, Donald Douglas and Frank Beatty, both of Liberty Corner, along with William Keeler of Basking Ridge worked with the Annin Flag Company of Verona, New Jersey to produce the first official Bernards Township flag. The Annin Flag Company was the only choice as those who know local history, it was the Annin family of Liberty Corner that founded the Annin Flag Company.

Presidential Telegram

For the 200th anniversary, known as the bicentennial celebration, Mayor William G. Badgley commenced the day with a telegram he received from President Dwight D. Eisenhower:

“Over the past 200 years, the citizens of Bernards Township have established a fine record of individual enterprise and civic achievement. Strengthened by such a tradition, they can enter their third century of community life with confidence. Congratulations and best wishes.”

President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Bernards Township 250th Anniversary Flag

For the 250th anniversary in Bernards Township, the yellow and green flags on the village greens were flown in Basking Ridge and Liberty Corner, as well as the large banner flag in Town Hall. It was designed by township resident Cathy Mondoro and C.J. Designs and donated by the Annin Flag Company, an organization with long ties to Bernards Township.

250th Anniversary Bernards Township Flag
250th Anniversary Bernards Township Flag

“I built three concepts that the township committee discussed and mulled over, and ultimately settled on this one,” Mondoro said. “This one was designed for several reasons, to blend the historical and contemporary for one, because obviously the stars and stripes are very traditional and very historical. Although, I did not want to do traditional red, white and blue colors because I wanted to be more specific to Basking Ridge.”

Mondoro chose the yellow and green colors often used by the township, and incorporated the symbol of the oak leaf as an homage to the Old Oak Tree in Basking Ridge.

Conclusion

After digging and talking to local residents, the Mr. Local History Project concludes that the Bernards Township flag is what you see below based on James Fogelman’s 1960 design.

Both flags were made by the Annin Flag Company, the world's largest flag maker.
Both flags were made by the Annin Flag Company, the world’s largest flag maker.

Known as “The red-white-and-gold” flag James Fogleman presented the flag to the Township Committee and the Bicentennial Chairman William Scheuerman. As they say: “The rest is history.”

As they do with American flags, I guess we can refer to this flag as the “Fogelman Flag.”

What we are calling the “Fogelman Flag” – Bernards-Township Flag rendering. Mr-Local-History

Do You have a Bernards Township Flag Photo to Share?

There is only ONE place we’ve found the Bernards Township flag and that’s at the Bernards Township Municipal Building Committee/Court room.

If you have one, send us a photo or story with your Bernards Township flag!
Send it in and we’ll add it to the story. Click Here

Additional Flag Information

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