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Hudson-Fulton Celebration Commission, New York (U.S.)

Last modified: 2014-11-01 by rick wyatt
Keywords: hudson-fulton celebration commission | new york | united states |
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[Hudson-Fulton Celebration Commission flag] image located by Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 10 May 2012

See also:

About the flag

The 1909 Hudson-Fulton celebration was to mark the 300th anniversary of Henry Hudson's discovery of his namesake river, and the 100th anniversary of Robert Fulton's inauguration of steamboat travel on the river (although the latter was really 2 years overdue)

The flag of the commission tasked with organizing the celebration is described at Fordham University's Hudson Fulton Celebration Project;  "Official Symbols by Caitlin Wills" (see

"The official flag of the Hudson-Fulton Celebration featured the three colors of the commemoration: blue, orange, and white. These three colors were characteristic of the Dutch Republic. The flag consisted of three horizontal stripes, from top to bottom, orange, white, and blue. The initials, H.F., were emblazoned in the center of the flag, surrounded by a ring of laurel leaves. The ring of laurel leaves, according to the traditions of antiquity, symbolized victory and accomplishment. The initials H.F. stood for Hudson and Fulton"
with additional info:
"The Hudson-Fulton Celebration, planned for years by the Commission, paid exquisite detail to its every element. Official symbols and colors pervaded every aspect of this two-week long celebration, constantly drawing attention back to the accomplishments of Henry Hudson and Robert Fulton. The ubiquitous insignias were present on seals, medals, badges, flags, and posters. All of the symbols bore the seal of the Hudson-Fulton Commission and were handled by the Commission of Badges, Flags, and Posters."
A photo of the flag can be seen at the website of the New-York Historical Society website
Ned Smith, 10 May 2012

The Hudson Committee was already going in 1906, when government decided on the Fulton Celebration. Rather than trying to organise an event that would two years later outdo the latter, they got it out of the way by suggesting a joint celebration, supplying as explanation for the  year that it would be the centenary of 1809, the year Fulton was granted his steamboat monopoly.

This is an Oranje-Blanje-Bleu flag, which was the contemporary style of the orange, white, and blue. It has "bleu", a very light blue, much paler than the blue I believe was used in the early days of the Republic. The fuller colour can be seen in the national flag of some sort to the right in these 17th Century Dutch flags, or on the Dutch Princevlag page. So while those colours "were characteristic of the Dutch Republic", I don't think the shades they picked for the Hudson-Fulton Celebration Commission flag were as characteristic.

Here is the text from the New-York Historical Society page as well:

"Title Flag: Hudson-Fulton Celebration
Object name Flag
Date 1909
Medium Wool, cotton, metal grommets
Dimensions Overall: 40 1/4 x 69 1/4 in. ( 102.2 x 175.9 cm )
Description Wool flag of the Hudson-Fulton Celebration of 1909; orange, white and blue striped; red "HF" surrounded by a green laurel wreath printed in the center; white cotton hoist with metal grommets at each end.
Credit Line Gift of Mrs. Lucius M. Stanton
Object Number INV.12267
Marks printed: on hoist: "PAT. APPLIED FOR"
Gallery Label This flag was used during the Hudson-Fulton Celebration in New York City. The Celebration occur[r]ed over a two week period, September 25 to October 9, 1909."
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 10 May 2012