On April 8, 1896, the New York state legislature adopted a law making the coat of arms on a buff field the official state flag. The buff field was chosen because Major Asa Gardiner, the main proponent of the flag, argued that it should be of the facing color of uniform worn by troops. George Washington had ordered that troops from New York and New Jersey serving in the Continental Army wear buff facings. However, the buff flag was unpopular, since the actual and more familiar custom at the time was for military flags to be blue with the coat of arms, as they had been for New York troops during and before the Civil War. Thus, the legislature changed the field from buff to blue by a law enacted on April 2, 1901.
The coat of arms as depicted on the flag has several minor differences from that on the state seal, or as it is shown in paintings for non-flag use. These are mainly in the treatment of the sun (squared off rays, no face on the disk) and in the simplification of the color palette for flag manufacture. [Text from FotW]
The coat of arms of the state flag was adopted in 1778 and the present flag is a modern version of a Revolutionary War regimental flag. The original is at the Albany Institute of History & Art.
In 2001, the North American Vexillological Association surveyed its members on the designs of the 72 U.S. state, U.S. territorial, and Canadian provincial flags. After the survey was completed, NAVA members chose the flag of New York to be ranked 53rd out of the 72.
New York State Flag Simplistic Proposal. The Statue of Liberty’s crown has five points for the five states bordering the state and for New York City’s five boroughs. The red and white backwards “L” is a nod to the Union Jack and a reminder of what we can do when we band together. By Ed Mitchell. 2013.
New York State Flag Proposal. 50 Stars to represent the United States and drawn from the Jack of the United States, the Cross of St. George with the four lion are from the flag and arms of the City of York in Northern England, the White Rose of the House of York and of Yorkshire with the crown of Libertas (the lady of the Statue of Liberty). Proposal by Nathaniel Tang 06 JUNE 2015 at 23:07 UTC
New York State Flag Proposal. 50 Stars to represent the United States and drawn from the Jack of the United States, the Cross of St. George with the four lion are from the flag and arms of the City of York in Northern England, the White Rose of the House of York and of Yorkshire with the crown of Libertas (the lady of the Statue of Liberty), and the orange representing the Dutch who first colonized Manhatten. Proposal by Nathaniel Tang 08 JUNE 2015 at 01:15 UTC
New York State Flag Proposal. Pre-1801 Union Flag combined with the Dutch Prince's Flag. Proposal by Nathaniel Tang 08 JUNE 2015 at 01:40 UTC
New York Flag Proposal by Whiskrebellion, inspired by that of Stephen Richard Barlow.
New York State Flag Proposal by ColiopKolchovo
"Official Blue and Gold Colors" New York City is orange but the state is gold on blue - no fuss - related much more to the Stars and Stripes with 11 for the order of admission. Design by Rotten Ali.
NY flag proposal by Fabio Schubert
New York state flag proposed by Ken Morton. The thirteen stars on this flag represent New York's status as one of the original thirteen states. The blue field and compass represent the Atlantic Ocean crossings made by the ancestors of so many New Yorkers. Additionally, the compass symbolizes New York's state motto, "Excelsior", 'ever upwards'.
We were all thinking it. (Posted by Ken Morton)
Inspired by SonofSibir's design. The green and blue represents the east coast. The white pyramid represents the NYC skyline, with the rising East sun atop it, also representing the Statue of Liberty. By Dmitri McDonald, 2018.
Alternate version of my other design, without the green, also inspired by SonofSibir's design. By Dmitri McDonald, 2018.