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NYC Fire Department, New York (U.S.)

Last modified: 2016-12-27 by rick wyatt
Keywords: fire department | new york |
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[NYC Fire Department flag] image by Blas Delgado Ortiz, 23 June 2001



See also:


Description of the flag

The New York City Fire Department, officially the "Fire Department, City of New York" (FDNY), is a department of the government of New York City that provides fire protection, technical rescue, primary response to biological, chemical and radioactive hazards, and emergency medical services to the five boroughs of New York City.

The New York City Fire Department is the largest municipal fire department in the United States and the second largest in the world after the Tokyo Fire Department. The FDNY employs approximately 10,200 uniformed firefighters and over 3,600 uniformed EMTs and paramedics. The FDNY serves more than 8 million residents within a 320 square mile radius.

The FDNY headquarters is located at 9 MetroTech Center in Downtown Brooklyn, and the FDNY Fire Academy is located on Randalls Island. It was officially established on July 31, 1865 but traces its roots as far as 1648).
Sources: http://www1.nyc.gov/site/fdny/about/overview/overview.page
and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_City_Fire_Department

The flag displayed above is the old version, featuring the 1915 emblem (http://home.kpn.nl/ewoud01/wtc/fdnyeagle/1915_s.jpg). It is the Maltese Cross and inside the letters FD. The new emblem (http://www.nyc.gov/html/fdny/gif/general/maltese.gif, source: http://www.nyc.gov/html/fdny/html/history/maltese_cross.shtml) is the same Maltese Cross but with the City Seal inside.

Here are the new flags with the new badge, featured both in the middle and in the canton:
https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2623/3799546221_fa1c0c2450_z.jpg?zz=1 (new emblem in the canton, blue City Seal) (source:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/rtg7192/3799546221)
http://www.crwflags.com/art/states/ny-nycfire.gif (new emblem in the canton, black City Seal) (source: http://www.crwflags.com/page0860ny-nycfire.html) (variant with the emblem in red instead of blue)

For additional information:
NYCFD (official website) http://www.nyc.gov/fdny
Esteban Rivera, 12 March 2016

In the space of two days, I have seen two different New York City Fire Department flags, and I am convinced they serve two separate purposes.

First, there is the version used on coffins, sadly seen so often lately. This has five (for the boroughs, I suppose) stripes, three red (traditional fire department color, probably for fire and/or their trucks [if painted for visibility]) and two white. In the center, overlapping into three stripes, is a red square with the Fire Department's "Maltese" Cross in white, with red and (thin) white edging. The seal of the city appears in blue in the center circle of the cross, with other devices in gold on the arms- "FD" on top, "NY" on the bottom, a fire pump on the right and a hook and ladder on the left (*not* the simpler version once posted here, with one of the four letters of FDNY on each arm and "FD" entwined in each other in the center).

Clinching the idea that this is a coffin flag only is the fact that the cross is oriented to the *side* of the flag- that is, if the flag were actually flying, the cross would seem to be lying on its side, with all lettering and the like pointing that way, unless hung vertically. When placed on a coffin, however, the details are facing forward, that is, to the narrow end of the coffin, which, when carried, faces that way. (I may have once seen this flag with the cross facing the "right" way, but I'm beginning to doubt it.) In fact, this may never actually be manufactured as a flag, but only as a coffin cover, with folded edges and the like.
Nathan G. Lamm, 26 December 2001


Version with badge in canton

[NYC Fire Department flag] image by Clayton Horner, 11 August 2016

The other flag is similar, but places the red square in the canton, so it resembles the NYPD (City Police Department) and U.S. flags (the former is based on the latter, with five green and white stripes). This must be the version for hanging and parades. I just saw this FDNY flag hanging, along with the NYPD flag, alongside the Financial District Christmas tree. Above were the U.S. flag and what appeared to be the Canadian flag (wasn't waving, so not sure). I have no idea why the latter was there.
Nathan G. Lamm, 26 December 2001

And here's the second variant flag:
https://c2.staticflickr.com/2/1012/1332406903_49aac1becd_b.jpg (plain red horizontal flag with new emblem in the middle, blue City Seal) (source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelcasani/1332406903)

For additional information:
NYCFD (official website) http://www.nyc.gov/fdny
Esteban Rivera, 12 March 2016

Detail of badge

[NYC Fire Department flag] image by Clayton Horner, 11 August 2016