Rochester teen’s creativity shines through with flag design

Jul 13, 2020

ROCHESTER — The town now has about 5,700 people and two flags, after enthusiastic 14 year old Owen Modracek didn’t realize the town had a flag and took the initiative to fill what he thought was a gap.

Not realizing that the town already had an official flag, on display at the State House, Modracek set out to design one.

He chose five colors and two symbols  that represented the town for his design. 

For the dominant color he chose a deep green to represent the town’s forest. Smaller indigo-blue stripes represent Rochester’s ponds and lakes. He pulled the yellow in the flag from the town seal in the middle of it, and thought it would represent the farms and corn fields of Rochester. 

“You can’t drive across town without seeing a cornfield,” Modracek said. He also wanted to pay homage to “the tough men and women who work in agriculture to cultivate said food.”

In the agricultural vein, he also included a stripe of cranberry red, to represent Rochester’s many bogs.  

On either side of the central seal, Modracek “added two male deer, which represent strength and perseverance, our hunting culture, and the Wampanoags who first settled the Tri-Town,” he wrote in an explanation of the flag.  

He also said three of the colors he used (green, blue and cranberry) are state colors. 

Town Administrator Suzanne Szyndlar received the email that Owen sent with his design and brought it up at a July 8 Board of Selectmen meeting.

Selectmen are considering the issue and will ask the Rochester Historical Society to look into the history of the current flag.

It is unclear what will happen with Modracek’s flag. 

The teen, who moved to Rochester when he was two, said that he isn’t necessarily disappointed that the town already had a flag, since he “didn’t have a specific goal in mind for it,” and “just wanted to create a flag.”

He did not find the State House flag online because he only checked Wikipedia to look for one.

He has designed a state flag for Massachusetts and New Hampshire before.

The flag enthusiast is also starting a collection of miniature flags, and their slightly larger counterparts to hang on his walls. 

When not collecting or studying flags, he loves soccer (and all sports really).

He will start at Old Rochester Regional High School in the fall, where his favorite subjects are likely to be history, geography, math and science.