City Adopts Official Seal


Derby High School art teacher Marianne Feroce designed it and the Board of Aldermen have now approved an official seal for the city of Derby. The seal is a great testament to the history of the city and highlights the strong maritime links that were once so important to the city. If you look carefully at the seal, you will see that it features a banner with the date that the city was officially recognized by the state of Connecticut, May 13, 1675. Look carefully at the edge of the banner, and you will also see a sprig of Derby's official flower, the French Lilac. It also features a shop sailing the waters at the confluence of the Housatonic and Naugatuck Fivers with O'Sullivan's Island clearly visible. Incidentally, O'Sullivan's Island is no longer an island! To the far left, you can also see one of the early bridges that connected Derby to Huntington (now Shelton).

In the background, one can see the area of downtown area of the city that was once the Borough of Birmingham, and farther back one can see the hills that frame the Naugatuck River below. It is a fitting image for a city with such a proud past, and Marianne Feroce is to be thanked for her time and effort.

This all got started due to a request from Janet Robinson (Superintendent of Derby Public Schools); Janet wanted to have the town seal on her business cards and was not satisfied with the three letters, DPS, which was currently on hers. When asked for a copy of the seal, newly elected Mayor, Tony Staffieri responded that Derby did not have a town seal. 

Marianne Feroce was asked if any of her students would be interested in doing this as a project. At first the students presented some rough sketches depicting Derby with a leaning to the old factory days with smoke stacks and billows of smoke rising into the sky line. It was Marianne’s idea to look further back in time and soften Derby’s skyline to depict Derby as a village. This decision fit with the plans of Derby’s redevelopment which will eventually tear down the old industrial buildings lining the rivers and replace it with a “modern village”.

Marianne volunteered her time and talent and spent well over a hundred hours in creating and refining drafts of possible town seals.

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