FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: Friday, August 8, 2008
CONTACT: Peter Fortier, Adjutant General’s Department at,(603) 225-1380, [email protected]
Artist Selected as Designer of the New Hampshire Medal of Honor
CONCORD, NH – The New Hampshire Adjutant General’s Department along with the New Hampshire Medal of Honor Committee met on October 1st, 2007 to review artist proposals for the design of the New Hampshire Medal of Honor and Ribbon. The New Hampshire Medal of Honor Committee includes bill sponsor Senator Robert Letourneau, retired and active members of the military, employees of the Adjutant General’s Department, Gold Star Mother, Joyce Bertolino of Hampstead, and employees of the State of New Hampshire.
Andre Belanger, the selected artist, has worked with the State of New Hampshire on many projects including the 1999 Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington DC and the festival’s restaging, Celebrate New Hampshire Festival held in Contoocook in 2000. Belanger also designed and created both the 2005 Governors Arts Award for Community Spirit given to Portsmouth and the Old Man of the Mountain Profile Awards. He owns his own sign-making and art-based business, Studio Works in Berlin, New Hampshire.
New Hampshire artist, Andre Belanger’s design of the New Hampshire Medal of Honor includes several metaphors evoking honor, dignity as well as humility, while presenting a heartfelt symbol of respect for the recipients of this Medal. This preliminary design will be handed over to a medal and ribbon maker in the coming weeks. The final medal and ribbon may appear slightly different than this preliminary proposed design.
A public Request for Artist Proposals (RFP) was released in September 2007 through the media, on the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts website and e-news bulletins. The original RFP called for a designed medal that included; a unique New Hampshire theme, military symbolism not specific to any particular military organization, no design or color similarity to the Congressional Medal of Honor, a unique ribbon, a timeless design, not particular to any given era, symbolically or metaphorically representing patriotism, appreciation of sacrifice and dignity.
New Hampshire Medal of Honor, designed by
Andre Belanger, Berlin, NH
This design concept for the New Hampshire Medal of Honor will represent The State of New Hampshire with dignity as well as with humility, while presenting a heartfelt symbol of respect for the recipients of this Medal. Those, for whom this Medal is conceived, have given their lives in defense of these United States of America, and therefore, for New Hampshire.
- The Medal consists of a multi-colored cloth ribbon from which a similarly colored metal pendant is suspended.
- The colors of the ribbon are pale blue, deep green, white, gray, and purple.
- The colors on the metal pendant are deep green, purple, and black; the metal colors of the pendant are brown, patina bronze, polished bronze, and gold.
- The metal pendant is die-cut into a ten-pointed star with an open oval panel in the center of the ten-pointed star.
- On the oval panel, there is lettering that reads “The State of New Hampshire Medal of Honor”; there are also nine stars on this panel.
- Superimposed on the oval are the shape of the State of New Hampshire and a relief sculpture of the head of a North American Bald Eagle.
- The connecting metal joint between the ribbon and the pendant is a small horizontal panel that in bronze with black letters that reads “Live Free or Die”.
- In the center of the pendant, “behind” the eagle, there is a black enamel panel with one polished, five-pointed star; the star is slightly larger than the nine stars on the oval of the pendant.
The colors and their significance on the ribbon are as follows:
- Four pale blue stripes: the waters and life-giving forces in New Hampshire, the ocean, lakes, rivers and streams.
- Two wider deep green stripes: the deep forest and agricultural lands that are the natural elements in New Hampshire.
- Two white stripes: the snow covered White Mountains.
- Two gray stripes: granite, the bedrock of New Hampshire.
- One dominant purple stripe: valor, reminiscent of The Purple Heart, also, the state flower, the purple lilac.
- All the stripes are vertical: leading upwards, and pointing directly to the pendant.
The colors, shapes, iconography, and their significance in the pendant are as follows:
- A ten-pointed star: from the clear night sky, ten counties in New Hampshire, and the valleys and peaks in New Hampshire, and in life.
- An oval: the continuum of life, hope, never-ending, always beginning.
- Nine stars in order: New Hampshire, the ninth state to ratify the constitution.
- The North American Bald Eagle: symbol of the United States of America. This head portrait in profile is fully-detailed to signify the many facets and characteristics that make up this Nation. The eagle’s mouth is closed as if there is no way to express appropriately, with its voice, anything at this solemn time. The eagle is however, stern and majestic, reaching forward in flight, soaring in dignity and in peace.
- The shape of the State of New Hampshire; polished and smooth. Every part of New Hampshire is one. It reflects and mirrors the emotions of the families and loved ones of the recipient. Its unique shape is unblemished.
- State motto on the connecting metal joint in black letters: the purpose of life lived and lost by the recipient.
- One polished gold star in a black-field: the individual honored by New Hampshire and the Nation, the Gold Star Family.
The New Hampshire Medal of Honor may be awarded on behalf of the people of the state of New Hampshire to any New Hampshire citizen who has given his or her life while in the line of duty to protect and preserve the rights and freedoms of the people of New Hampshire on or after November 4, 1979 and while; engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States, engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force, assigned as military personnel to friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party, serving in a combat zone as designated by Presidential order, engaged in training in preparation for deployment to a combat zone as designated by Presidential order, or serving in the military and killed as a result of a terrorist act.
Individuals eligible to receive the New Hampshire Medal of Honor include: members of the New Hampshire national guard at the time they were killed, members of the United States military reserves who were legal residents of New Hampshire at the time they were killed, members of the United States armed forces who were: legal residents of New Hampshire at the time they were killed, stationed in New Hampshire by a proper order of the United States Department of Defense at the time they were killed.