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The Town of Huntington gets new seal, with official town colors and longstanding motto

People by: Chrissy Ruggeri, August 24, 2022

The new Town of Huntington seal, as released to the public today, August 24.

The Town of Huntington has a new seal, which was released to the public today by Supervisor Ed Smyth. The seal incorporates the official Town of Huntington colors, established in 1997 by the town board, and the motto “The Town Endures.” The same slogan is written on the bell of the Old First Presbyterian Church, the oldest church in Huntington, established in 1658 and located at 125 Main Street.

The “E” in blue at the center of the new seal stands for Huntington’s status in 1664 as the fifth town from the east end of Long Island, when each town was assigned a letter. At that time, the towns in Suffolk County included East Hampton, Southampton, Southold, Brookhaven and Huntington. The five dots on the seal also mark the town’s designation as the fifth town within the county.

The HVN in red is an abbreviation of Huntington, with the V in place of the U, as it’s used in ancient Latin.

Most of the early Huntington settlers were English and arrived by way of Massachusetts and Connecticut. The name “Huntington” was likely chosen in honor of the birthplace of Oliver Cromwell, the Lord Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland in the years the town was established. Around 1688, creation of a seal was mandated by the New York governor, who had control over all of Long Island. The original town seal was created by the town trustees, who were responsible for managing and distributing town-owned land under the governor.

During the colonial period, shipping was an important part of the local economy, which is represented with the rope around the seal. Water-borne transportation gave life to the community, with the natural harbors offering easy access to the farmlands of the Long Island interior. The harbor became the focal point for the movement of agricultural products into the commerce of the colonies. Agriculture and water-borne transportation allowed the town to thrive for two centuries, and in later years, the whaling industry and greater manufacturing activity contributed to the local economy and allowed for the expansion of harbor communities like Cold Spring Harbor and Northport.

Some interesting, more recent history: The Town of Huntington also had a coat of arms, from 1976 until the early 2000s. It received very little use over the decades. But when that coat of arms, featuring a lion placing a horn to its mouth, taken from the family crest of the aforementioned Oliver Cromwell, appeared on promotional items for the Town of Huntington’s 350th anniversary in 2003, controversy and debate swiftly followed. Local historians argued that, after seizing control of the English Parliament in the 1600s, Cromwell led his armies in the genocide of Irish Catholics. About 40 percent of indigenous Irishmen were killed, with their women and children sold into slavery in the West Indies. To honor and acknowledge him would be offensive, they said. In August of 2003, town board members voted unanimously to phase out the coat of arms.

Read The New York Times article on the coat of arms and its phasing out here.