Arago: 13-cent New York

13-cent New York

The 13-cent New York State Flag (Scott 1643) features a modern version of a Revolutionary War flag. Today's New York state flag displays the state coat-of-arms, adopted in 1778, centered on a dark blue field.

The shield depicts a cloudless sky with a rising sun behind three mountains—the highlands of the Hudson River—bordered by a grassy shore fringed with shrubs. A three-masted, square-rigged ship and a Hudson River sloop navigate towards each other.

Beneath the shield on a white ribbon is the state motto—"Excelsior" or "Ever Upward." Above the shield, the crest shows a bald eagle, wings spread, perched atop a globe depicting the northern Atlantic Ocean. The eagle faces right, considered to be a good omen.

On one side of the shield stands 'Justice'. Her hair decorated with pearls, she is clothed in gold with a blue belt edged in red, and a loose red robe hangs from her shoulder.

Opposite Justice stands 'Liberty' holding a pole topped with the Phrygian cap that was given to Roman slaves when emancipated and, later, adopted as a symbol of Liberty. A crown is at her left foot, thrown there to symbolize the failed control of the British Monarchy. Liberty is clothed in blue and wears red sandals. A red robe hangs from her shoulder, and pearls decorate her unbound hair.


Scott 2005 Specialized Catalogue of U.S. Stamps and Covers (

SHG Resources (


Additional Records