Thursday, January 27, 2011

New York City's Seals

In Central Park, there is still one example of the old seal of New York City, which looks like this:

from Seal and flag of the city of New York: authorized by the committee appointed by the mayor to commemorate the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the installation of the first mayor ... Edited by John B. Pine. In the public domain; on Google Books.

The relatively new seal bears the date 1625. You can see it on many municipal buildings, on (copyright protected), and on NYC licenses.

Heraldists and historians: Why was the date changed? Do you know the answer?

Do you know where the old seal appears in Central Park?

Post here -- and stay tuned for a great story.


  1. I am curious to know what the eagle is perched upon?
    On a building here in the city is a clock with the Native American and Dutchman on either side. The eagle rests above the clock. On either side of the two men is what looks like beehives? Could that be what the eagle grasps in the seal. Would like to know if you have more information? I am also curious about where in Central Park you would find this seal and the great story?

  2. Hello! Thank you for your comment. Sorry I haven't checked this blog for a while! I do have more information. This older version of the seal is on the base of a flag post slightly south of 72nd Street at the west side entrance, on a rise. I had to walk up through a muddy patch to see it. The Indian/Dutch motif is common to many official images. I think what you refer to as beehives are actually barrels of grain from the mills. Have to check into your question about the eagle.

    Story to come -- I am waiting for a fellow heraldist to jot down a few notes. I'm afraid things move slowly in heraldic time!