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Queens, New York (U.S.)

Queens County

Last modified: 2023-07-21 by rick wyatt
Keywords: queens | new york | queens county |
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[flag of the Borough of Queens, New York] image(s) by permission of David B. Martucci
image(s) from American City Flags, Raven 9-10 (2002-2003), courtesy of the North American Vexillological Association, which retains copyright.

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Description of the flag

The flag of the Borough of Queens dates from 1913 and uses the colors of the arms of the first Dutch governour, and a tulip (recalling Dutch origin) within a ring of wampum.
Mark Sensen, 3 June 1998

The tulip symbolizes the Dutch, and the wampum symbolizes the Natives. Also, the tulip is crossed with a rose, which symbolizes the English.
Ferdinand Cesarano, 23 August 2002

Flag History

Early in the year 1913, the Chamber of Commerce of the Borough of Queens (QCBC) recommended to Borough President Maurice E. Connolly that it would be appropriate if an official Queens Flag were to be designed and adopted. Mr. Connolly agreed and assigned Rodman J. Pearson, a draftsman in the Bureau of Sewers, to prepare preliminary sketches, which were later submitted to the Board of Directors of the QCBC for approval.

A special committee consisting of Commissioner of Highways G. Howland Leavitt, Louis Windemuller and Charles G. Meyer was appointed to confer with E. Hageman Hall, president of the New York Historical Society and secretary of the American Scenic and Historical Preservation Society, for the purpose of authenticating the various elements of the design. At Mr. Hall's suggestion, several important changes were incorporated and finally on June 3, 1913, the revised sketch was adopted by the Board of Directors of the QCBC.

The QCBC defrayed the expense of making the initial flags, later displayed at regular functions of the QCBC and at its headquarters in Long Island City, at the Queens Borough Public Library in Jamaica and at Queens Borough Hall in Kew Gardens. The new Queens Flag was first displayed officially at the celebration inaugurating construction of the dual rapid transit system in Queens on June 7, 1913. For some reason, it was not flown at Borough Hall until October 14, 1929, when Borough President George U. Harvey raised it upon the Borough Hall standard in the presence of QCBC Officials and Borough Civic Leaders.

submitted by: Greg Hofer, 6 July 2001

Symbols of Queens County

[Seal of the Borough of Queens, New York] image by Greg Hofer, 6 July 2001
Seal of the Borough of Queens

In the official seal and flag of Queens County there are a number of symbols that tell a great deal about the beginnings of this County and Borough.

Dutch Governor William Kieft purchased The land comprising Queens County from the Indians. Queens County was created on November 1, 1683 and the territory included present-day Queens County, Nassau County, and part of western Suffolk County. The Governor's Shield is typified by the white and blue stripes in the Queens County Flag.

Two flowers, the tulip and the rose, are surrounded by a circle of wampum, which is taken from the Indian name for Long Island, "Seawanhaka," or "island of sea shells." The first settlers are represented by the two flowers: the tulip, emblematic of the Dutch and the double red and white rose of the English, representing the Houses of York and Lancaster. The Queen's Crown signifies the name of the County and Borough in honor of Queen Catherine of Braganza, wife of Charles II, King of England. The date indicates the year in which Queens County became a part of the City of New York on January 1, 1898.

submitted by: Greg Hofer, 6 July 2001