New York City Flag on Our Flagpole

New York City

The New-York Historical Society originally proposed adopting a horizontal tricolor to be more reflective of the historical Dutch flags, but the Committee kept the vertical orientation.


  • Bald eagle: The symbol of the United States of America
  • Native American: The original inhabitants of the area
  • Seaman: Symbolizes the colonizers of the area
  • Beaver: Symbolizes the Dutch West India Company, which was the first company in New York (originally known as Nieuw Amsterdam). Also the official animal of New York State.
  • Windmill: Remembers the Dutch history of the city and the prosperous industry of milling flour.
  • Flour barrels: In the 17th century, New York had been granted a short-lived monopoly on milling, which established the fledgling colony as a commercial powerhouse
  • 1625: Originally 1664, the year was later changed to honor the establishment of New Amsterdam, which was actually settled in 1624. The 1625 date has been described as “arbitrary” by the public historian at the New-York Historical Society and “simply wrong” by Michael Miscione, the Manhattan borough historian.


Although the City Code states that the seal’s Latin legend is to be omitted from the flag, the city’s own webpage shows a flag with the motto intact.


The flag is sometimes, but rarely, flown without the seal at the center, making it a simple blue, white, and orange tricolor.

The flag is flown frequently throughout the city. It is always flown at city-owned buildings such as New York City Hall, as well as buildings occupied by city departments or institutions, and it is also flown in city parks.

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