Flags of New York City
|Adopted||December 30, 1977|
Variant flag of City of New York
|Name||Standard of the Mayor of New York City|
The flags of New York City include the flag of New York City and the respective flags of the boroughs of The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island. The city flag is a vertical tricolor in blue, white, and orange and charged in the center bar with the Seal of New York City in blue. The tricolor design is derived from the flag of the Dutch Republic—the Prince's Flag—as used in 1625, when New Amsterdam was settled on the island of Manhattan.
The current design dates from December 30, 1977, when the seal was modified to use 1625 instead of 1664 (when the Kingdom of England took possession) and inclusion of the Latin inscription Sigillum Civitatis Novi Eboraci ("Seal of the City of New York") within the seal was made optional (thus resulting in two equally acceptable variants).
- 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: The industry
- 1625: The year in which the city of New Amsterdam was founded by the Dutch
The flag is sometimes, but rarely, flown without the seal at the center, making it a simple blue, white, and orange tricolor. Orange is the color the Dutch adopted after their leader William of Orange.
The flag is flown frequently throughout the city. It is always flown at New York City Hall and other city buildings, and often flown at city parks.
The design of the flag of the Bronx consists of a horizontal tricolor. The top band is orange, the middle band is white, and the band at the bottom is blue, mimicking the historical Dutch tricolor. In the center of the flag is a laurel wreath denoting honor and fame. The wreath encircles the Bronck family arms. The shield of the family arms shows the face of the sun with rays displayed rising from the sea, signifying peace, liberty, and commerce. The crest of the arms is an eagle facing eastward and with its wings expanded, representing "the hope of the New World while not forgetting the Old." The text underneath the shield is also the motto of the borough, and reads "ne cede malis," which is a Latin phrase meaning "Yield not to evil".
The flag of Brooklyn has a white background with a seal at the center. Within the seal is a young robed woman set on a background of light blue, and bearing fasces, a traditional emblem of unity. Encircling that image is a ring of dark blue and the Old Dutch phrase "Een Draght Maekt Maght" (modern Dutch: "Eendracht maakt macht") which translates into English as "Unity makes strength". Also in the darker ring are the words "Borough of Brooklyn". The outside and inside trim of the seal are gold-colored. The primary colors of the seal reflect the recognized colors of the borough, blue and gold.
The Borough of Manhattan official flag is very similar to the New York City flag. The only difference from the City flag is the use of the seal of the Borough in place of the City Seal. The seal is the city's one but with two stars below and the encircling inscription "BOROUGH OF MANHATTAN" NOVEMBER 1, 1683. The date at the bottom is the date on which the Province of New York was divided into twelve counties by New York Governor Thomas Dongan, and it was created the New York County (Manhattan) with the same border in use today. Previously the Borough used the same flag but with the encircling inscription "The President of the Borough of Manhattan" "NYC" to represent the institution in official occasions.
The flag of Queens has three horizontal bands. The band at the top and bottom are blue, and the middle band is white. These colors represent the arms of the first Dutch Governor Willem Kieft. Also on the flag is a centered design, consisting of a ring, a tulip, and a rose. At the top-left of the flag is a queen's crown, the words 'Qveens Borovgh' (a stylized form of the name 'Queens Borough'), and the four digits of a date. The ring is a ring of wampum, shown because the area was named 'Sewanacky' (a word meaning 'island of sea shells) by the Lenape in reference to its being one of the few places where the Lenape could collect the clams and whelks used to make wampum. The tulip shown on the flag is a representation of the Dutch, who were early settlers of the area. The red and white rose is a Tudor rose, a traditional symbol of England and the English monarchy. The queen's crown signifies the name of the borough, named in honor of Catherine of Braganza, Queen Consort of England in 1683, when New York's original twelve counties (of which Queens was one) were established and named. The date indicates the year when Queens became a part of the City of New York.
The flag of Staten Island was adopted in 2002 and consists of elements designed for a contest held in 1971. The contest was held by Staten Island's Borough President Robert T. Connor. The flag has flown over the Staten Island Advance and Chamber of Commerce buildings, and is on display in City Hall and Staten Island Borough Hall. The flag has a white background with an oval in the center. Within the oval is a blue sky and two white seagulls. The green outline represents the countryside, and the white shape represents the cityscape, denoting the residential areas of Staten Island. In the center of the oval are the words "Staten Island" in gold. Under the name are five wavy blue lines to symbolize the water bodies surrounding the island. The previous borough flag for Staten Island, adopted the same time as the flags of Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx, was a navy blue flag with an orange seal in the center, containing two waterfowl and the text "Richmond Borough 1663 1898 S New York". This was the official borough flag for Staten Island, and reflected its previous official name of "Richmond".
In March 2016, Borough President James Oddo proposed replacing the emblem on the borough's flag with that of the borough's seal, which features an allegoric female figure standing on the borough and looking out onto the Narrows, where Henry Hudson's ship "The Half Moon" and a smaller boat sail.
- Sanders, Anna. "Staten Island 'landfill' flag gets dumped by new vision". silive.com. Staten Island Advance. Retrieved 6 April 2016.
- "Cultural Affairs: History of the Queens Flag". Retrieved January 12, 2013.
- CRW Flags - information regarding NYC flags
- The Official New York City Flag (municipal government website)
- New York City, New York (U.S.) at Flags of the World
- American City Flags 2002 - 2003 (ISBN 978-0-9747728-0-6) by the North American Vexillological Association (NYC flags on pages 35 – 43)