Page Title: The William Floyd Flag

NOTE: This flag is no longer stocked. I keep it on the site for those interested in history.

William Floyd Flag

A most unique historical project; The only flag to commemorate the life and home of a Signer of the Declaration of Independence. William Floyd was one of four signers from New York State

History has become my lifestyle and I owe my interest in it to my flag business. Contact with Civil War reenactors who came to me as customers in the early 1980's got me listening to the stories of their regiments and battles. Those reenactors introduced me to history. From there my interest grew to include all eras of American History with a particular focus on our colonial and founding periods. In that context I have been visiting homes and graves of the signers of The Declaration of Independence as well as every birthplace, home, grave and library of all US Presidents. I am about 75% done with this quest.

One of the best parts of my business has been the places it has taken me and the people I have met. I first got introduced to The Marriotts also as customers.  After a few years of taking orders from them on the phone, it came out in conversation that they own the house of William Floyd, a signer of The Declaration, in Westernville, NY. This house appears in a book on The Declaration of Independence that was in our house when I was growing up and, with my new found interest as an adult, I had always wondered if it was still standing. See the story below about their stewardship of The William Floyd House.

Somehow it came out that they had designed a flag for The Floyd House. One thing led to another and we struck an arrangement to sell this flag here to benefit their work in preserving the home of a signer. Here is what Russ Marriott explains about the flag's design:

"The two colors we chose have always appealed to me for some time and are appropriate for this particular signer. The use of blue stems from receipts that have survived and are archived at the William Floyd Estate that indicate that Floyd, upon arriving in Philadelphia had a suit made with fine blue cloth and star-spangled buttons. This was quite a departure for this very modest, conservative farmer from Long Island. The two stars represent his two houses he called home and six pointed shape is simply a nod to Washington's position flag star design. At some time, someone had given me this article on the symbolism of the color red. It indicated that red symbolized energy, passion and action and is said to be associated with our most physical needs and our will to survive. Perhaps some of these thought filled William's head as came to understand the significance to his action of signing the declaration of Independence. The date of 1803 is the year he moved into the house in Western. Although it was not yet completed, it was substantial enough for his occupancy.

In September of 2011, the Western Floyd family was the host family for the Descendants of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence and most of the activities revolved around the house."

William Floyd FlagThe seal features William Floyd's signature

Only 56 men signed the Declaration of Independence and homes still stand from only about a dozen of them.

So there it is. A most unique flag, designed by a most unique family, for a most unique house, from a most unique 18th century man.

 

 

 

 


William Floyd House, Westernville, NY

1803
     At an age when most people would be satisfied with reflecting upon their life-long success and service to their country, a 68-year-old General William Floyd left his family estate on Long Island. Together with his second wife, their two daughters, and entrusted servants and slaves, Floyd ventured up the Mohawk Valley to the central part of New York State and settled into their newly constructed home. The General had purchased large tracts of land in this region after the War for Independence. He chose a site in a fertile valley, south of the headwaters of the Mohawk River. This area was about eight miles north of Fort Stanwix, a fort that had played a pivotal role in defeating the British attempt to divide the Colonies during the Revolution. In 1803, this area was considered beyond the civilized boundaries of colonial settlement.
     William Floyd was, by nature and by occupation, a farmer and businessman. He loved the freedom, opportunity, and independence that farming afforded him and was successful in his endeavors. In the early days of the Revolution, it was those successful business skills and leadership qualities that caused the people of Suffolk County, Long Island to send William to the Continental Congress. He served two terms, from 1774-1777 and again from 1779-1783. At the meeting of the Second Continental Congress, he would immortalize himself in American history by signing the Declaration of Independence. Later, the General would serve in the New York State Senate, the New York State Constitutional Convention of 1801, as a member of the House of Representatives of the first Federal Congress and as a Presidential Elector on four occasions.
     Early in the 19th century, free from the rigorous responsibilities of political service and after a failed bid for the office of Lieutenant-Governor of New York State, William Floyd was able to devote himself to his love of farming at his new home in Western. The house, thought to be designed by Floyd, allowed him to resolve a number of architectural conflicts he inherited at his Long Island homestead. The architectural style he chose reflected the conservative personality of the Signer. At a time when people of his means where being swept up in the new Federalist architectural movement, Floyd was quite comfortable in designing his new home in the classical Georgian style. Although high style for the colonial frontier, the house would have been considered old fashioned by urban colonial standards.
     The house was originally a center hall, post and beam structure, comprised of eleven rooms. It sat on substantial acreage, with numerous outbuildings. Before the mid 1800s, two of these outbuildings were attached to the main structure forming a two-story wing. Currently, the house consists of 21 rooms and one original outbuilding, on eight acres in a quiet country village. Time has been kind to the Generalís upstate home, having survived virtually intact. It has been home to five owners since leaving the possession of the Floyd family in1951. The house was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1971. Itís current owners, Dr. Russell and Jaclyn Marriott, have owned the house since 1977. The philosophy of the on-going restoration and preservation reflects a respect for all the efforts of the previous owners, while focusing on the period in which General William Floyd occupied his estate.
     Although the Generalís home is not open to the public, the current owners/caretakers attempt to share this piece of American history through both the written and Internet medias.