AYER -- Have an idea for the official Ayer flag? The Board of Selectmen will soon solicit ideas for the design.

Jeri Love visited selectmen on Jan. 8 and noted that the flag that hangs to represent the town in the Statehouse's Hall of Flags is one designed specifically to commemorate one of the town's anniversaries. She provided selectmen with a sketch for consideration for an official town flag.

The sketch depicts a train pulling a chain of freight cars in a westward direction, according to a compass centered in the center of the design and adorned with the official town seal. The scene is framed by words attributed to John C. Ayer, the druggist and philanthropist who served as Ayer's namesake. Ayer donated much to the town, including the cost to build Ayer Town Hall.

"Undertake what you can accomplish, and accomplish what you undertake," said Ayer.

Other symbolic aspects of the sketch are pine trees, representative of the town's military history, and the use of the colors blue and green, which Love said are dominant colors in the Massachusetts Tartan plaid. The westward train travel is symbolic of progressiveness.

Selectman Chairman James Fay asked Love to return to selectmen with ideas on how to proceed with a contest for design submissions. Fay also suggested the ultimate decision on which design to pick should rest with Town Meeting voters.

-- MARY ARATA