New York City, New York, Flag History

Oct 26th, 2018


New York City is located on the southern tip of New York and consists of 302 square miles of land and 165 square miles of water. It was settled in 1624 and consolidated with some adjoining areas in 1898. New York City is named for James, Duke of York. He was also the King of England and Ireland, and later, Scotland.


New York City’s current flag is a modified version of its first flag and was adopted in 1977. The modifications included removing the old city seal and inserting the newly adopted seal. The major noted change was substituting 1625 for 1664. The reasoning was that 1625 was a better representation of the founding date of the city.




In 1914, a committee was appointed by the City Art Commission to design a city seal and flag. The committee chose to incorporate its Dutch and English heritage in its design and, as a result, consulted with the New York Historical Society. The final design consisted of a field of blue, white, and orange vertical bars and featured the city seal in the center. The flag was officially adopted in April 1915.


The meanings assigned to the seal and flag design include the following:


*     Blue, White, and Orange: Dutch flag historical colors

*     Beaver: The official New York animal, and the Dutch West India Company

*     Bald Eagle: United States symbol

*     Flour Barrels: New York’s history of monopolizing milling in the 17th Century

*     Seaman: Area colonizers

*     Native American: Original inhabitants in the area

*     Windmill: Industry of the area and Dutch history


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