INDEPENDENCE CO., Ark. (KAIT) - Independence County now has an exclusive symbol that will represent them for years to come, a new county flag. County officials raised the flag on New Year’s Eve as they brought in the new year and closed out their bi-centennial.
The flag was approved by the Independence County Quorum Court after a flag competition where one of the contributors was an alum from Lyon College and the other was a citizen in Norway.
The flag that is flying high at the county courthouse in Batesville has a lot of symbolism.
The two blue stripes represent the White and Black River.
The five white stripes represent the incorporated cities: Batesville, Southside, Cave City, Cushman, and Newark.
The five red stripes represent the incorporated towns: Magness, Moorefield, Oil Trough, Pleasant Plains, and Sulphur Rock.
The collective 10 red and white stripes represent the row crops that are a huge resource for Independence County.
The five-pronged star represents the American Revolution patriots who were buried in Independence County: Lawrence Angel, John Carothers, Benjamin Hardin, David Vance, and John Weldon.
The nine stars in total represent the fact that Independence County was the ninth county to form in Arkansas.
As far as the seal, County Judge Robert Griffin best describes it below:
“The Liberty Bell is featured since our name came from the Declaration of Independence. In that image, 1820, the year of our birth. Freedom shines all around the Liberty Bell. Our local higher institutions of learning are featured under the bell as true freedom involves an informed and knowledgeable public. Our great natural resources are featured by the river flowing across the landscape and with the largemouth bass and the deer. The rivers, both the Black and White, were prominent in our development and trade.
Agriculture, of many types, has long been a stabilizing factor for our County. A few stalks of corn and a cow represents that with the chicken being a great producer of jobs in our county through processing and production, thereby blending agriculture with industry.
Racing is represented in the outer ring along with our mining history and quarries. Many may not know of the manganese mining around Cushman during WW2. It is used in making steel and that was a scarce resource in that time of war. Our quarries produce materials that go all over the nation. Quarried stone from here is present in the Arkansas State Capitol. Sand mining is currently being done in our county. All this activity is representing many jobs.”
Griffin says even with its symbolism, it will also honor those in the county.
“We needed the ability to honor officers, firefighters, people that might have not met the threshold that the Governor would lower the flag, but we want to honor here. So, we will have protocols where fire chiefs, mayors, etc. would be able to request ‘hey would you lower the county flag,’” Griffin said.
As of now, the protocol of public law does not allow a county or city official the authority to lower the American or state flag, only a President and Governor can do that.
With the establishment of this new flag and with it standing alone on county property, the county will not violate the law.
County Judge Griffin says they are proud to end their first 200 years of existence by starting their next 200 years by raising their first county flag.