New York New York State Flag

The New York flag was formally adopted on April 1, 1901. Since, New York has maintained the same flag for the last 117 years.

The New York flag was voted 38th best out of 51 Flags ranked by the North American Vexillological Association.

The 7 main colors in the New York flag are #002A86, #FFFFFF, #46B7E8, #FFD90F, #FF3515, #10503A, and #FFE84F. The New York flag width is 2 times the height. Standard flag size is 3 feet x 6 feet.

We also provide high resolution and Scalar Vector Graph (SVG) downloadable images — free of charge. Go to Flag Downloads.

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New York Flag

The New York State Flag. Adopted by State Legislature on April 1, 1901.

Colors

#002A86 79.2%
#FFFFFF 3%
#46B7E8 2.7%
#FFD90F 2.6%
#FF3515 1.8%
#10503A 1.1%
#FFE84F 1%
Percentage totals may not equal 100. Colors with less than 1 percent are ignored.

Description and Meaning

New York’s state flag consists of the state’s coat of arms on top of a dark blue field. The coat of arms also appears on The Great Seal of the State of New York. The coat of arms features a shield in the center with a woman on each side and an eagle perched on top of a world globe above the shield. On the shield there is water scene of two ships on the Hudson Bay – one a large massed ship and the other a small sloop. The water scene is bordered by green shores and a mountain with the sun rising behind it. Underneath the shield flows a banner containing the word, “Excelsior.”

Meaning

The sailing ships represent domestic and foreign trade, while the eagle perched on a globe indicates the Western hemisphere. The woman dressed in blue on the left side of the shield is Liberty who holds a pole topped with the Phrygian cap, which in early modern Europe came to represent freedom and the pursuit of liberty. Liberty’s left foot rests atop a fallen crown signifying New York’s independence from the British crown that previously ruled New York as a colony.

On the right side of the shield stands Justice dressed in yellow. Justice is blindfolded thus to represent impartiality while holding scales to signify fairness. In Justice’s right hand, she holds a sword, which represents punishment.

A banner beneath the shield reads “Excelsior”. This Latin phrase is New York State’s motto and means “higher”. The phrase is sometimes translated as “Ever Upward,” signifying the state’s continual pursuit of improvement.

History

The coat of arms was adopted formally in 1778 but first appeared during the Revolutionary War. The current New York state flag is a modern version of the original design. The crest was first designed at the Albany Institute of History & Art in New York.

The background, or field as it is sometimes called, was not always blue. Originally the background was colored buff , a pale yellow-brown color. This is typically the color of un-dyed leather. In 1901, the legislature officially changed the field to the dark blue we see today.


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