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Town Council proposes standardization of Braintree town seal

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  August 8, 2011 02:26 PM

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The town seal on a rug at a Town Council meeting. Although similar to other versions, some in the community would like to see it standard throughout.

When 85-year old Nancy Nicosia saw the Braintree Town seal at a local print shop years ago, she noticed that something was different.

“I was looking at the ribbon that said, “incorporated” and it wasn’t the way I remembered. I pointed it out [to town officials], and they said they were cleaning it up, so I didn’t pay any more attention to it,” she said.

It wasn’t until years later that Nicosia noticed the seal again, this time while watching government news on cable TV.

“It’s on the podium at the town council, and it was the altered version I had seen [before],” she said.

Three letters to the Braintree Town Council, and a few weeks later, and the altered and different town seals will soon be a memory of the past.

According to Sean Powers, Town Councilor at Large, there will be a memorandum to the ordinance that governs use of the town seal at the council meeting on Wednesday. The memorandum will be moved to the Ordinances and Rules Committee for debate over the next coming weeks.

It’s all in an effort to standardize the emblem that Former Town Clerk Asa French presented, a seal that was adopted by town meeting in November 1887.

“I’m seeking is to make sure that we’re all using the seal that the town has been using and the town adopted in the 1880s, [as] there have been some minor changes over the years,” Powers said.

Everything from the blue and white edition of the seal (the authorized version is black and white) to the small alterations in the “incorporated” ribbon and minor differences in the arm and the sword emblem, everything will be standardized per the original version.

“It’s not meant to blame anyone. I want to stress that we shouldn’t go around town ripping down seals that might not be accurate. But going forward we should be using the same seal,” Powers said. “The president of the United States, or the mayor of Boston, they don’t change the seal from administration to administration,” neither should we, he said.

The matter is more housekeeping than anything else, Powers said. Going forward, the Town Clerk will oversee the use of the seal to make sure it is standardized on government documents and paraphernalia.

Although it’s a minor alteration in the larger scheme of things, Nicosia is still pleased that something is finally being done.

“It’s an official seal that goes on official documents. It should be the official one - that one was accepted in a town meeting many years ago,” she said.

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