The Flag of New York State: History, Meaning, and Symbolism

Flag of New York State

Written by Heather Hall

Updated: January 10, 2023

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Where is New York State?

New York State is part of the Northeastern United States and is bordered by five other states (Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Vermont, Connecticut, and Massachusetts). New York State is the fourth most populous state in the United States, with a population of 19.45 million people as of 2021. The biggest city in New York State is New York City, which has an estimated population of 8.4 million people.

In terms of size, New York State covers 54,556 square miles and is the 27th largest state by size. The capital city of New York State is Albany, located on the Hudson River in eastern New York.

Map of New York and surrounding areas

New York State has a population of 19.45 million people and is bordered by five other states in the Northeastern US.

When was New York State Founded?

New York State was officially established on July 26th, 1788, when it ratified the United States Constitution and became the 11th state to join the Union. Before this date, New York had formally been part of British Colonial America since 1664, apart from a brief period during and after the Revolutionary War when it declared its independence as an independent republic in 1776.

After ratifying the US constitution, New York’s government was restructured to follow that of other states in accordance with federal laws. This new form of government also granted more rights and freedoms to citizens than were previously available under British rule. Since then, New York has made many contributions to American history, culture, and politics – but none greater than its role in establishing our nation as we know it today.

What is the Geography of New York State?

The Adirondack Mountains, located in the northern region of New York State, are home to many breathtaking sights. This area is known for its ski resorts, hiking trails, and beautiful lakes. The Catskills region lies in the center of New York State and is characterized by rolling hills and lush forests. It is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts due to its abundant wildlife, rivers, streams, and lakes.

The Hudson Valley runs along the southern part of New York State and offers magnificent views of majestic mountains and deep valleys from many points throughout this area. Visitors can also explore some of the state’s most famous landmarks, including West Point Military Academy, located on the banks of the Hudson River near Bear Mountain.

Finally, no trip to New York would be complete without visiting both the Finger Lakes region with its 11 large glacially-formed lakes or Niagara Falls, which straddles both sides of the U.S.-Canada border between Lake Erie & Lake Ontario – two more stunning geographic features found within this great state!

Niagara Falls , New York

New York is home to Niagara Falls, an impressive natural wonder and popular tourist destination which straddles the US-Canada border.

What is the Climate of New York State?

New York State’s temperate climate has hot, humid summers and cold winters. During the summer months, temperatures can reach up to 85°F with high humidity levels making it difficult to stay cool.

On the other hand, winter temperatures can dip well below freezing at times, with snowfall covering much of the state from December through February each year. The average annual temperature is 46°F, which makes New York one of the milder states in terms of extreme weather conditions compared to its neighbors on either side – Connecticut and Pennsylvania to the east and west, respectively. Despite this mildness, however, severe storms are known to occur during spring and fall seasons that bring heavy rains or even tornados, depending on their severity level.

What is the Culture and Cuisine of New York State?

New York State is known for its vibrant cultural scene and its diverse and unique cuisine. Each region of the state has its own specialties, with some dishes being recognizable across the entire country. Popular dishes from New York include Brooklyn-style pizza, which is characterized by thin crusts and a variety of toppings; Buffalo wings, which are chicken wings deep fried and served with hot sauce; and Manhattan clam chowder, which is made with tomatoes as a base instead of cream or milk like other types of chowders. These iconic dishes have become synonymous with New York City in particular but are enjoyed all over the state as well.

The culture and diversity of the state of New York are incredibly varied. From metropolitan cities like New York City to rural agricultural towns in upstate areas, there’s a wide range of cultural influences that have come together to shape modern-day life.

The population is made up of people from all walks of life — from Native American tribes to immigrants from around the world — which has created an eclectic mix of cuisines, art forms, music styles, and beliefs.

New York, Manhattan clam chowder

Manhattan clam chowder is a popular dish from New York that is made with tomatoes as a base instead of cream or milk.

What Animals and Plants Can You Find in New York State?

New York State is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including white-tailed deer, black bears, coyotes, beavers, foxes, and many different species of birds.

New York State has many different species of plants too, including maple trees, tulip trees, oaks, hemlocks, and birches.

Flag of New York State: Description

The Coat of Arms of New York makes up the state flag and the state seal, using the same imagery across all three. The Flag of New York State is a dark blue background with the Lady Liberty holding a staff topped with a Phrygian cap standing to the left of a shield. Under her foot is an overturned English crown. To the right side of the shield is Lady Justice, blindfolded and holding a sword in one hand and a set of scales in the other.

Inside the shield, a ship and sloop are floating on a river. The river has a grassy shore and a mountain range with the setting sun overhead.

Above the shield is a globe with a large American eagle sitting on top. Beneath the shield, a white banner shows the words Excelsior E Pluribus Unum in Latin.

Flag of New York State: Symbolism

The Flag, Seal, and Coat of Arms of New York State are rich with symbolism.

The Phrygian cap was given to Roman slaves upon emancipation and represents freedom and liberty. Justice is blindfolded to show the importance of impartiality and fairness. She is holding a sword to fight tyranny. Liberty has her foot on the overthrown crown of England to symbolize the discarded monarchy. The State motto in Latin translates to “Ever Upward” and “Out of many, One.”

The flag of New York State waving in the wind

The flag of New York State symbolizes freedom, liberty and fairness.

What are the State Symbols of New York State?

The state symbols of New York include the eastern bluebird, which was once common throughout the Northeast. New York state was a countryside covered in farms and orchards. Bluebirds would nest in holes in fence posts and apple trees, eating the many insects in the area.

The state mammal is the beaver. Traders looking for beaver pelts were instrumental in motivating exploration across New York.

The state mineral is the garnet. In the Adirondack mountains, you can find one of the largest garnet mines in the world. This gem is used for industrial grinding and polishing and also as a precious stone dating back as far as ancient Egypt.

The eastern bluebird is a symbol of New York State.

The eastern bluebird is a symbol of New York State.

Does New York State Have a State Song?

Yes, New York State has an official state song titled “I Love New York.” It was composed by Steve Karmen in 1977 and has been the official state song since 1980. The song starts like this “I love new york (3 times). There isn’t another like it, no matter where you go. And nobody can compare it. It’s win and place and show…”

Does New York State Have a State Motto or Pledge?

Yes, the official state motto of New York is “Excelsior,” which is Latin for “ever upward.” The official state pledge is “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the State of New York, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Does New York State Have a Nickname?

Yes, the official nickname of New York State is “The Empire State.” This nickname was adopted in 1945. The exact origin of this nickname is not clear. Some attribute it to Abraham Lincoln, who once called New York “the Seat of the Empire” in a written document in 1785. He was referring to the strength that New York showed during the American Revolution.

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About the Author

Heather Hall is a writer at A-Z Animals, where her primary focus is on plants and animals. Heather has been writing and editing since 2012 and holds a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture. As a resident of the Pacific Northwest, Heather enjoys hiking, gardening, and trail running through the mountains with her dogs.

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