What Is Depicted on the New York State Flag?


Quick Answer

The New York state flag has the State Coat of Arms on top of a dark blue background. The center of the coat of arms has a shield with two ships, a river, mountains and a rising sun in a cloudless sky. On top of the shield are a globe and an eagle with spread wings. On either side are two figures representing Liberty, on the left, and Justice, on the right. A banner with the word Excelsior is underneath.

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Full Answer

Lady Liberty has pearls in her hair, is holding a Phrygian cap, a symbol of freedom from slavery, on a pole and is stepping on a crown with her left foot. This symbolizes the breakaway from the British monarchy. Lady Justice wears a blindfold and is holding scales and a sword. This represents impartiality, fairness and the punishment of evil, respectively. The eagle and the globe symbolizes might, power and dominance over the Atlantic Ocean. The word "excelsior" means "ever upward," symbolizing the constant effort to meet and exceed goals.

The original flag, created in 1779, had a buff background, but that was changed to blue by legislative action on April 2, 1901. The State Coat of Arms, also referred to as the Great Seal of the State of New, dates back to 1778. The flag's design takes after a Revolutionary War Flag.

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