Districts recognize Boston’s Vietnamese community, Bedford’s revolutionary ties

Boston Statehouse

Massachusetts State House

BOSTON (SHNS) – Two newly designated state cultural districts are home to the oldest known flag in the United States and the country’s first Vietnamese American Community Center.

The Massachusetts Cultural Council’s governing board on Tuesday unanimously approved the designation of the Bedford Cultural District and the Boston Little Saigon Cultural District, located in Dorchester’s Fields Corner neighborhood, bringing the state’s total number of cultural districts up to 51.

According to the Council, Boston is home to the largest population of Vietnamese Americans in the Northeast, 75 percent of whom live in the new district.

“We hope to bring more awareness to Vietnamese arts and culture passed onto us by our elders and welcome new ideas from our younger generation,” Boston Little Saigon Board President Annie Le said. “We look forward to working with community members, neighbors, and business owners to create more opportunities and build more support for the arts and for small businesses in the Fields Corner area.”

The Bedford Cultural District’s boundaries “showcase its ties to the American Revolution, a rich bicycling tradition, and a town hall campus that serves as a community gathering space,” according to the Cultural Council.

The Town Center campus, among other municipal buildings, houses a library where the public can view the original Bedford Flag.

“The designation of the Bedford Cultural District is important to economic development and tourism in our region, especially as the economy recovers from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Rep. Ken Gordon said in a statement. “Bedford played a pivotal role in the birth of our nation and this honor is an important acknowledgment of the area’s cultural value.” 

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