Last modified: 2011-10-21 by rick wyatt
Keywords: new york | schenectady county |
Links: FOTW homepage | search | disclaimer and copyright | write us | mirrors
image located by Aleksandar Nemet, 17 January 2010
- indicates flag is known.
- indicates it is reported that there is no known flag.
Municipal flags in Schenectady County:
Our county flag has several symbols in it that relate to the history of our county. The central symbol is the county seal that represents a balance with paired swords over it. This symbolizes strength and justice. The county was incorporated on March 7, 1809 and split from Albany County. Surrounding the seal are four illustrations.About the county:
The background colors of our flag: Orange, White, and Blue represent the colors of our early Dutch heritage, the Dutch Flag."
- The Dewitt Clinton (Top left). This was the engine of the Mohawk and Hudson Railroad, the first steam powered passenger train in America. It was New York State’s first railroad and was incorporated on April 17 1826 by Duanesburgh’s George Featherstonhaugh and others. It made its maiden voyage on August 9, 1831 between Albany and Schenectady. The Mohawk & Hudson was the first successful steam railroad running regularly-scheduled service.
- The Schenectady Boat (Top right). Schenectady began one of the first canal systems in the late 18th century with Philip Schuyler’s Inland Navigation System. It began in 1795 by the Schuyler family and for 30 years was a successful commercial venture which led the way for Schenectady to become a famous boat building community, making bateaux (flat bottom boats), "Durham Boats" – larger double pointed bateaux's, and a large cargo boat known as the "Schenectady Boat." This is the boat represented on the flag. The entire shoreline in back of where Schenectady County Community College is presently was lined with warehouses and companies that flourished here and was called the Harbor, until a disastrous fire in 1819 destroyed 160 buildings over a period of two days. The construction of the Erie Canal a few years later killed any reason to rebuild the harbor, as new warehouses and businesses sprung up along the Erie and took advantage of the canal’s easier navigation westward.
- Broom Corn. (Bottom right). Some folks have interpreted this as a sheaf of wheat, however it is broom corn. Schenectady County, in particular the city of Schenectady, Scotia, and Glenville were famous for making brooms during the 19th centuries. Broomcorn (Sorghum vulgare var. technicum) is a type of sorghum that is used for making brooms and whiskbrooms. It differs from other sorghums in that it produces heads with fibrous seed branches that may be as much as 36 in. long. A ton of broomcorn brush makes 80 to 100 dozen brooms. Although Schenectady’s broomcorn industry had flourished since 1812, it reached its peak between 1840 and 1860. Broomcorn dominated the river flats, and a number of factories strove to meet the wide demand for the products. Hardly a family in Schenectady escaped having some contact with the industry, either by work at the factory or by work done at home. Great numbers of German immigrants streamed into the city attracted by this work. At one point, Schenectady was the chief center of broom- and brush-making in the United States, a million brooms a year going out to all sections of the country.
- Lightning Bolt and Atom (Bottom left). These two symbols represent the early industries of General Electric and American Locomotive. The lightening bolt is in honor of Charles Steinmetz, the electrical genius at GE until his death in 1923. He created artificial lightening, but is best known for explaining the significance of alternating current. The atom represents the first successful atomic power plant in the country designed and built by American Locomotive (ALCO) in 1957. It was the first production nuclear reactor to operate in the US for the Army at Fort Belvoir.