a community newspaper serving western Albemarle County

The Crozet Flag

Claudius Crozet and His Emblem

The Crozet Flag

The Crozet Flag (Design courtesy Allie Pesch)

The name Crozet traces as far back as the 13-century in French records and a town bearing the name lies in the French Alps just west of Geneva. The desolate rocks in the south Indian Ocean called the Crozet Islands are named for Jules Crozet, an explorer during the 18th century.

Claudius Crozet, engineer of the Blue Ridge Tunnel and the town’s namesake, was born in Villefranche, in the Rhone, in 1790. An artillery officer under Napoleon, he came to America in 1816 after Waterloo and taught engineering at West Point. He is credited with the introduction of slate boards and chalk to classrooms. Thomas Jefferson said he was the best mathematician in the U.S.

As engineer for Virginia he surveyed the routes of many roads in the west of the state including Rt. 250 across what is now West Virginia and Rt. 11 through the Valley of Virginia. He championed railroads and supervised the construction of the Blue Ridge Tunnel under Rockfish Gap from 1850 to 1858. When the shafts dug from each side of the mountain by hand by immigrant Irishmen and rented slaves finally met underground, they were only six inches off alignment. When the bigger tunnel now in use was built in 1944, the shafts met four feet off center.

Crozet was the leading founder and first president of the Virginia Military Institute.

The depot the town grew around was named for Crozet in 1875 at the insistence of the C&O Railroad as part of an agreement to establish a freight landing sought by local farmers and necessary to the construction of Miller School.

The Crozet Community Association began promoting the Crozet family crest as a symbol for the town in 1996.

-Michael Marshall

Which Angle is Right?

Crozet Bumper Sticker

Crozet Bumper Sticker

In 1996, looking for symbol for the Crozet community, the Crozet Community Association investigated the family heraldry of the town namesake. Three emblems for the name were discovered in old French heraldry books at the University of Virginia Library, but all were depicted in black and white. For one, the least complex coat-of-arms, there was a description of the emblem’s colors and therefore it was officially adopted by the CCA and stickers and a handful of flags were made. The colors are happily compatible with the American flag. The emblem dates from the 1300s.

When presented formally as heraldry, the Crozet crest is shown with the white sash with roses descending from left to right in an N shape. If flown as a flag, the top of the sash should be at the top of the pole. Because the crest does not have rotational symmetry—the sash would slant in opposite directions if seen from opposite sides of a flag pole—either angle is right when mounting the emblem as a bumper sticker.

The crest does not explain itself. You’re either in the know or not. Look for the free stickers on store counters around town or pick one up at a Crozet Community Association meeting.

The Crozet Flag

Buy your very own Crozet Flag here.

Proud to be a Crozetian?
Order your own Crozet Flag from the Gazette.

The Crozet Gazette updated the bumper sticker design to draw more details from the Crozet crest and has manufactured a limited run of full-color, double-sided flags, on sale here.

12 Comments

  1. Love the flag! How much are they?

    Pam
    823-2387

  2. Hi, I’m living in Villefranche sur Saône, Rhône, France and want to buy the Crozet’s flag. Where can I do it and how much ?

  3. Do you sell “magnets” with the Crozet Flag? I would love to have one … but do not want to put a sticker on my vehicle.

  4. I LOVE the flag and would like to buy a magnet if/when they become available! I’m a local artist and I’ve painted a pair of wine glasses with the Crozet flag on them–if anyone is interested you can email me at tammy@tammypetry.com. Thanks!

  5. Any update on getting the Crozet flag as a magnet? I would love to have one … and not sure if there is any possibility this will happen in the near future. Thanks!

    • Hi Alexander,
      We do still plan to make the magnets but it has been put off for a bit. Maybe later this summer? I’m going to talk to the CCA and see if they would be willing to take on selling/distributing them. Thanks!
      Allie

  6. do you have a high resolution picture of the flag? i can order a magnet online as well … but the photos online are not crisp enough. thanks!

    • Magnets have been ordered by the Crozet community association and will be available at the Crozet Independence Day celebration on the 5th! I’ll let you know when we get them (hopefully this Thursday).

      • Hi Allie,

        GREAT news! I am going out of town to visit my parents for the holiday. Where would I be able to purchase a magnet?

        • I have some for sale at the Gazette office. They are $3 each, cash or check payable to the CCA. I’m not always there so let me know before you come by. I would be happy to mail it to you if that’s easier. allie @ crozetgazette.com They are 4″ square.

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