Framed Obverse
Framed Obverse

Framed Obverse

Detail - 2

Detail - 2

Detail - 3

Detail - 3


U.S. New York Naval Militia Color.

Sub-collection: Crow Art Partnership Collection

26 Star New York Naval Militia Color, with 8 point gold stars, 1845
The American Citizen Sailor is a concept as old as America itself. From the American Revolution to the War on Terror, the American citizen sailor has performed heroically in service to the nation. The New York Naval Militia's heritage spans over two centuries, dating back to the American Revolution. The first naval battle of the Revolutionary War was fought on Lake Champlain in 1776 by New York Militiamen manning the ships of a small American squadron.

After the Revolutionary War the various state navies were disbanded and state militias became inactive. The first federal legislation addressing the issue was The Militia Act of 1792, under the provisions of which each of the states maintained its own militia. Each was organized differently, with varying degrees of efficiency and readiness playing out across the states.

During the first half of 19th century various militias were called upon to fight in the War of 1812 and the Mexican-American War. The militia units were often found to be unprepared, ill supplied and sometimes unwilling as well; many eventually evolved into organizations which used the musters and drills as purely social occasions.

The twenty-six golden yellow six pointed stars date this flag to the 1837 to 1845 period. However, there were no formally recognized naval militia organizations during this era so exactly who used this flag and for what purpose remains unknown.

The New York Naval Militia was formally organized as a Provisional Naval Battalion in 1889 and was formally mustered into State service as the First Battalion, Naval Reserve Artillery, on 23 June 1891. One year later the New York Naval Militia was called to active duty to protect steam ship passengers during the 1892 cholera quarantine at Fire Island.
Today, the New York Naval Militia is the only federally recognized Naval Militia with continuous, unbroken service dating back to the American Revolution.

Given the pattern of social militias in the mid-nineteenth century, it is possible that this flag was used by such a social organization, perhaps even as a forerunner of the modern yacht club. Concurrently, a growing interest in recreational sailing, cruising and racing also occurred during this era and on July 30th, 1844, a group of nine influential men met aboard the sloop Gimcrack and agreed to form the New York Yacht Club.

The 1845 annual meeting of the NYYC at Windham's Tavern produced not only the first full slate of officers, but it marked the beginning of the New York Yacht Club's relationship with the United States Navy and United States Coast Guard, a relationship which continues to this day.

While the exact connection remains unknown, it is also unlikely that any 1837-1845 period naval militia organizations in the state of New York could have existed without the knowledge and support of the founders of the New York Yacht Club.

in 1847, Commodore Stevens of the NYYC established a close working relationship with the US government and personally proposed to the Secretary of the Treasury that private yachts not engaged in trade or commerce should be exempt from inspection by US Revenue Marine vessels. The Secretary, fully aware of the manpower required to inspect each and every yacht entering a port, agreed to propose legislation that would allow the Treasury Department to license yachts and let such yachts carry a signal of the form, size, and colors prescribed by the Secretary of the Navy. This signal eventually became the US Yacht Ensign.

This flag was formerly in the collection of the noted collector Norm Flayderman, who originally identified it as a New York Naval Militia flag.

• New York State Navy - Militia Flag, 1840
• Acquired by Flayderman Collection who sold it to Richard H Keller
• Acquired by Richard H. Keller who sold it to the Crow Art Partnership Collection on 6/6/85
• Acquired at auction from the Crow Art Partnership Collection, Dallas, Texas, via Heritage Auction Inc., at the 24 June 2007, Civil War Grand Format Auction, in Gettysburg, PA.

ZFC Significant Flag
Item is Framed


Collins, Herbert Ridgeway, Threads of History, City of Washington, Smithsonian Institution Press, 1979.

Naval Militia, Wikipedia, 14 November 2011, from:

New York Naval Militia, New York state Department of Military & Naval Affairs, 14 November 2011, from:

History, New York Yacht Club, 14 November 2011, from:

Image Credits:
Zaricor Flag Collection


Hoist & Fly

Width of Hoist 55
Length of Fly 67


Comments on Star Measurements 26 eight point golden yellow stars painted in an arch along the upper edge of the cartouche.


Is it framed? yes
Frame Height 68
Frame Length 81


Number of Stars 26
Are there stars on obverse? yes
Are there stars on reverse? no


Has a Blood Stripe? no


Description of Crest/Emblem Stylized "naval" rendition of the United States Arms; the American Eagle is shown on a sea shell in a nautical scene.


Nation Represented United States


Fabric Silk
Comments on Fabric Stars and all design elements painted directly on silk material.


Type of Weave Plain


Applique Sides Single Sided = Design on one side only


All original documents and drawings are held in the Zaricor Flag Collection Archives.
All original documents and drawings are held in the Zaricor Flag Collection Archives.
Research Documents
All original documents and drawings are held in the Zaricor Flag Collection Archives.
Public Copy & Signs
All original documents and drawings are held in the Zaricor Flag Collection Archives.


Condition Good
Displayable yes


Date 1837 -1845