Last modified: 2015-08-20 by rick wyatt
Keywords: long island city | queens | new york | astoria |
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image by Dave Martucci, 16 July 2015
based on image from www.astorialic.org/topics/coatofarms.shtm
Long Island City was a rather short-lived city in New York. Based mainly on
Long Island City in Queens County was created out of the western portion of the Town of Newtown in 1870, including the incorporated Village of Astoria, and the unincorporated villages of Ravenswood, Hunters Point, Blissville, Sunnyside, Dutch Kills, Steinway, Bowery Bay and Middleton. The city continued 28 years, until 1898, when it became part of the Borough of Queens in the City of Greater New York. Today, Long Island City and Astoria survive as Queens neighborhoods, if not municipal entities.
In 1873, the Common Council of Long Island City adopted a Coat of Arms "emblematical of the varied interest represented by Long Island City", designed by George H. Williams, of Ravenswood. This was represented on a flag. To a certain extent the whole arrangement, but particularly the shield, is modeled on that of New York City.
Here is my rough rendering of a heraldic description, modeled on that of NYC:
Arms: Upon a shield, saltire-wise, the sails of a windmill. Between the sails, in chief a canoe and a tomahawk, in base an anchor, and on each flank a beehive;
Supporters: Dexter, Neptune seated, his right arm bent, and holding in his right hand a trident; his left arm bent, his left hand resting on the top of the shield.
Sinister, Minerva seated, her right arm bent, her right hand resting on the top of the shield; her left arm bent, and holding in her left hand a pole topped by a Phrygian cap. Shield and supporters resting upon a horizontal base.
Crest: An American bald eagle holding a laurel.
"Long Island City" is written over all.
In the background is the city and its waterways.
Much of the explanation of the symbolism on the site is clearly fanciful, except for the obvious resonance with New York City and that the bald eagle seems to be derived from that on the Village of Astoria Coat of Arms.
Long Island City is today represented by one star in the inner circle of the NYC Police Department flag, being one of the three cities (as opposed to towns and villages) that formed the City of Great New York in 1898 (along with the existing City of New York and the City of Brooklyn).
Richard Knipel, 31 July 2004
I have been in contact with Bob Singleton of the Greater Astoria Historical Society. He states the following:
We have the only flag in existence - based on the old coat of arms found in a book - we should have a high resolution of it somewhere. The colors are our invention made up from the old Long Island City High School colors (blue and yellow) that is now used by its successor, Bryant Hight School. I did a profile of the flag's meaning (yes, its a guestimate based on knowledge of the mythic symbols and our community's history.) We had the flag made about 4 years ago and its hanging on our wall.So, the flag was made in or about 2007 according to Singleton (but was placed on the FOTW pages in 2004 so obviously he is mistaken about that) based on the black and white engraving of the arms dating to 1873, with assumed meaning and assumed colors. It hangs on one of the walls at the Greater Astoria Historical Society, Quinn Building, 35-20 Broadway, 4th Floor, Long Island City, NY 11106. The original engraving of the arms is at http://astoriahistory.smugmug.com/GAHS-Books/Long-Island-City/6294369_hoLms/1/412628273_zTarg/Large.
located by Richard Knipel, 31 July 2004
The Greater Astoria Historical Society's seal is clearly but a slight alteration of that of the Village of Astoria, with their name written around, visible at www.astorialic.org/. I have taken their name out and fixed the circle a little to make us-ny)as.gif, attached, the Village of Astoria seal, important in
reference to the coat of arms and flag of Long Island City.
Richard Knipel, 31 July 2004