This page is about New York State. There is another page for New York City.

On April 8, 1896, the New York state legislature adopted a law making the coat of arms on a buff field the official state flag. The buff field was chosen because Major Asa Gardiner, the main proponent of the flag, argued that it should be of the facing color of uniform worn by troops. George Washington had ordered that troops from New York and New Jersey serving in the Continental Army wear buff facings.  However, the buff flag was unpopular, since the actual and more familiar custom at the time was for military flags to be blue with the coat of arms, as they had been for New York troops during and before the Civil War. Thus, the legislature changed the field from buff to blue by a law enacted on April 2, 1901.

The coat of arms as depicted on the flag has several minor differences from that on the state seal, or as it is shown in paintings for non-flag use. These are mainly in the treatment of the sun (squared off rays, no face on the disk) and in the simplification of the color palette for flag manufacture. [Text from FotW]

The coat of arms of the state flag was adopted in 1778 and the present flag is a modern version of a Revolutionary War regimental flag. The original is at the Albany Institute of History & Art.

In 2001, the North American Vexillological Association surveyed its members on the designs of the 72 U.S. state, U.S. territorial, and Canadian provincial flags. After the survey was completed, NAVA members chose the flag of New York to be ranked 53rd out of the 72.

In April 2020, the flag was modified to include "E PLURIBUS UNUM" on the coat of arms after a push was made by Governor Andrew Cuomo to send a unifying message in light of racial tensions following the death of George Floyd.

Proposals for a new flag of New York State[edit | edit source]

Shown below are various designs that have been proposed for a new New York State flag.

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States and federal district


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