Greenfield Recorder 04/21/2014, Page C01
NORTHFIELD — Local sixthgraders travelled to the Statehouse to see their town’s new flag unfurled.
The annual field trip to Boston took on a special meaning, as the Northfield flag was inducted into the state’s Hall of Flags Tuesday.
The flag has its roots in a similar trip.
“In 2009, the sixth-grade class visited the Statehouse and they noticed there wasn’t a flag for Northfield,” recalled Principal Thomas King.
Those students helped to change that.
After the trip, teacher Jay Loubris invited former Selectboard member Kathleen Wright to speak to the sixth-graders, and she challenged them each to come up with a design for the town’s flag.
“They were all so good, we couldn’t pick just one,” said King.
So, they brought in artists Linda Jacque and Barbara Lamoine, and Jacque’s son, Cam Gribko, and they incorporated elements of several flags into one design.
That flag, and a similar town seal, were adopted by voters at the 2013 annual town meeting.
After a tour of the Statehouse, the children were invited to take a closer look.
“Sen. Rosenberg invited them back into the Senate’s chambers and had them each sit in a senator’s seat,” said King. “They thought that was really special.”
Rosenberg also showed them how the Senate’s voting system worked and explained the desks still had inkwells because they are antiques dating back to an earlier century.
He said the senator was especially personable with the students, preferring to mill about the group and talk to them rather than speak from the podium.
King said the students were full of questions about the Statehouse and how the legislative process works, and Rosenberg and state Rep. Paul Mark were glad to answer.
While in Boston, the students also toured the Granary Burying Ground, the final resting place of historical figures like Paul Revere, John Hancock, Crispus Attucks, the first victim of the Boston Massacre and many more, as well as Mary Goose, who some say is the “Mother Goose” of children’s stories. The young students were especially curious about her, said King.
The students also got a glimpse of Vice President Joe Biden, in town for Boston Marathon commemorations.
King said police had traffic stopped on Interstate 90 as their bus approached the city, so the vice president’s motorcade could get through traffic, and they got to see the SUVs and police escorts zoom past.