Gloucester County (Old), founded in 1686 and once including within its boundaries the present Atlantic and Camden Counties, is unique in that it is an outstanding Agricultural, Industrial and Residential Area. Farming in all of its phases is highly established and developed. The raising of fruit, farm vegetables, and poultry, the dairy industry, the breeding of cattle, hogs, and other livestock, the existence of modern year-round canneries, quick freezing establishments and nearby markets all go far to make Gloucester County one of the chief food producing sections of our State and of our Country.
Hand in hand with agriculture, the County possesses some of the largest industries of the East. Modern plants of small and great proportions steadily employing thousands of our citizens, today are contributing in a major way to the prosperity of our Municipalities, County, State, and Nation.
Such a combination of Agriculture and Industry, together with the location of the County in the Metropolitan area of Philadelphia, was bound to result in thriving residential communities. A fine network of improved State and County Highways, excellent bus service, and generally splendid Municipal Government have contributed to the development of residential communities without comparison in our State. Gloucester County possesses the finest of schools and places of worship, the finest of local and county service of every kind, and is indeed a happy, healthy place for living.
It is a matter of interest that the County of Gloucester had never adopted an official Seal or Flag in its 274 years of existence until the Board of Freeholders in 1960 - aware of the lack of these official emblems - sponsored a contest among the school children of the County for the purpose of developing an interest in the history of the County and to obtain the children's ideas of an appropriate design for both the Seal and flag.
After the winning designs had been established by a special committee of the Gloucester County Historical Society, this committee pursued the subject further, and after frequent conferences with authorities on heraldry, consultation with expert designers and guidance and advice from officials of Gloucestershire, England, from which area this county took its name, a design for both the official County Seal and County Flag was submitted to the Board of Freeholders
for their consideration. On July 21, 1960 , the Board approved the design and by unanimous vote adopted it for official county use for both the County Seal and Flag.
The official County Seal is deserving of some explanation. The grated silver helmet, in profile, is indicative of princely status. In the instance of the helmet, the committee borrowed from the New Jersey State Seal which shows a grated gold helmet in direct view and which is significant of sovereignty. The County being lesser than the State justifies the arrangement of the helmet in profile and in silver.
Beneath the helmet and in the triangle is a red cross. This is the St. George Cross and is one of the principle symbols in the coat of arms of the Duke of Gloucester - that section of England from which our County took its name. This establishes the relationship of our County and the County of Gloucester in England . It is also indicative of morality.
Beneath the triangle enclosing the cross are two symbols: the anvil, which is indicative of labor and industry for which our County is noted and justly proud, and a shock of wheat or corn which is indicative of prosperity and agriculture.
Beneath the complete shield of the design is a scroll inscribed " County of Gloucester " with the date "1686" and an engraved circle with the words "The Great Seal of the County of Gloucester, New Jersey".
The now officially approved flag consists of the above noted seal on a field of buff. The escutcheon is blue with the exception of that section enclosing the cross, which is buff. This color application of the flag is prompted by what is believed to be the colors of the uniforms of Gloucester County's oldest military unit, dating back to the French-Indian Wars of the 1740's - The Gloucester County Blues - Hugh L.Mehorter , past president, Gloucester County Historical Society.