The Belmar Historical Society has much more information on it, and it’s worth a trip to visit the museum to learn more about it, but the Borough has an official flag it adopted in 1918 and which is patterned after the flag carried by the Belmar Battalion NJ Militia Reserve.
The flag was made by Mrs. William Ripley Cob, with the painting of the borough’s Coat-of-arms created by Philip Brunin. The flag was unveiled on April 18, 1918, with Mayor George W. Van Note entrusting it to the Battalion. Recognizing the Blue and Colonial buff colors in the flag is a constant reminder these were the colors selected by Geroge Washington as the New Jersey colors, commemorating the early Dutch settlements in the Garden State.
The Coat of arms was adopted by the Council that same evening, and originated with Major William Bamford who submitted the sketch that led to the final artistry created by Raymond Everett, a local artist who had already worked on a book plate for the library.
The brig in full sail in the center represents the borough’s maritime location, Bow-on signifies a course set for a haven of refuge with opportunity and justice for all who settled there. The dolphins are symbolic of love, diligence and swiftness, attributes striven for by municipal officials, and the shield supported by a pine and cedar branch denotes Belmar’s reliance on its natural beauty for strength and vigor. The swans on the design are at Silver Lake, and were the first flock of non-native birds bred in the United States.
The Belmar Battalion was discharged and mustered out on May 27, 1920, as the senior battalion in New Jersey. It included two companies and a hospital corps, performed secret service along the coast, and was originally know as the Belmar Home Guards organized in April 1917 with Major Bamford and J. Donald Sterner officers.
For more information about Belmar’s history or to learn about the Historical society, visit www.belmarhistoricalsociety.org.