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Albany County, New York (U.S.)

Last modified: 2021-07-21 by rick wyatt
Keywords: albany county | new york |
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[Flag of Albany County] image by Olivier Touzeau, 10 January 2004

Known Flag - indicates flag is known.
No Known Flag - indicates it is reported that there is no known flag.

Municipal flags in Albany County:

See also:

Description of the flag

The flag of Albany county can be seen on It is blue with the seal.
Olivier Touzeau, 10 January 2004

I visited the Albany County Hall of Records recently, but didn't get much new information. The woman who assisted me with obtaining the materials did point out, however, that there is a rather amusing graphical error on the county flag: despite the fact that sails billow out towards the east, there is a banner at the top of the ship in the center that blows to the west. This is likely because it had to be visible on the flag, as if it hadn't been outlined by the white city buildings, it would simply have disappeared on the blue background of the flag. She also explained that the blue color was modeled after the blue of the New York State flag, though was not able to provide an explanation as to why the two shades of blue were different. The January 10th, 2004 image above is the most up-to-date image as of June 13th, 2014.
Paul Bassinson, 23 June 2014

A square rig is the most efficient when running with the wind. This appears to have cemented such a strong connection in people's minds that people will usually not consider a square rig sailing upwind at all. A side view of a running square rigger, however, would show the spars in an end view, a big dot.

Here, the spars can be seen crossing the masts, yet we also see some of the pennant behind the mast, but a lot of it may actually be beside the mast in our view. These two directions combine to indicate that the wind is coming in somewhat forward. Probably, the ship is sailing as high to the wind as possible (which, admittedly, is not all that high with a square rig).

Of course, this is just the way to best show the sails; that's why they are often pictured like this. But it actually is a viable course for a square rigger and the pennant really would show behind the mast in a silhouette. In a gust the pennant might even whip towards the stern, so even a pennant that is not shortened by perspective would not be impossible.

Funny looking? Yes.
An error? No.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 24 June 2014

County Seal

[Seal of Albany County] image located by Paul Bassinson, 6 December 2016
Image obtained from

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