Belmont County, Ohio, Flag

Mar 30th, 2018


Belmont County is located in the extreme Mideast region of Ohio. It was formed in 1801 from Jefferson and Washington Counties and was organized in 1815. The name Belmont originated from the words “belle monte”, meaning “beautiful mountain” in the French language. The seat of the county is located in St. Clairsville.


The county seal and flag were designed in 1988 by an Ohio law student, Michael Massa. He had approached the county and they were in favor of having those items to represent the county. He created three designs and they were displayed so that citizens could vote for their favorite. Paul Harvey covered the competition in the national news. Massa was recognized by a 118th Ohio General Assembly resolution in 1989 for his flag design.


The meanings assigned to the seal include the following:


*     1801: The year that the county was formed

*     Building and Cupola: The Belmont County Courthouse

*     Hills and River: Represents the county’s landscape and the Ohio River

*     Meliorem Lapsa Locavit: Latin for “having fallen, a better was planted”

*     Sun Rays: The nine rays emanating from the sun and the corresponding stars symbolize the county’s role as the 9th parcel incorporated in the Ohio Territory


In 2017, a story about Massa and his creation of the Belmont County flag and seal was published by The Times Leader. In that article, he notes that his friend, Tony Sigmon, completed the painting of the flag and seal from Massa’s designs.


The Ohio Veterans Place features plaques and accompanying flagpoles displaying flags from each of the 88 counties in Ohio. The flags were presented at the Ohio Statehouse in 2005 during the Bicentennial flag dedication ceremonies.


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