Gansevoort Flag

Attributed to Ezra Ames (1768-1836)
Date: 1790-1797
Maker: Attributed to Ezra Ames (1768-1836)
Dimensions: 81 H x 88 W
Materials: Oil on silk
Credit: Gift of the estate of Catherine Gansevoort (Mrs. Abraham) Lansing
Accession Number: 1919.5
Comments: A fascinating, but probably fanciful, story is told about what inspired this banner, called the "Gansevoort Flag." In 1777, Pieter Gansevoort, Jr., commander of the Third New York Regiment, was trying to inspire his troops to withstand a siege. To boost morale, he ordered construction of a "Continental standard," a flag representing the year-old United States. That flag was made of a blue cloak, red petticoat and white shirts. This blue silk flag has traditionally been identified as the banner of Gansevoort's regiment. And some make the claim that the device on this banner inspired the design of New York's state arms. Neither of these assertions is supported by firm documentation, and current research suggests the flag probably dates to the 1790s.