Dutch East India Company

Circa: 1609 A.D.

Orange, white and blue in three horizontal stripes. (C6)

Henry Hudson brought Dutch flags to North America early in the 17th century. Sailing in the "Half Moon" under the financial backing of the United East India Company, Hudson reached New York Bay in 1609 and founded the seaport city of New Amsterdam, today known as New York City.

The major European nations were eager to establish colonies and trading centers in the New World. Many of them chartered companies to conduct this trade and commissioned explorers to seek out new worlds.

Hudson's ensign was the flag of the Dutch Republic with its three horizontal stripes (orange, white, and blue). The letter V 0 C A (standing for Vereenigte Oost-Indische Compagnie, Amsterdam) were added in the center of the white stripe. In 1621 when the Chartered West India Company came into control, the letters on the flag were changed to G W C. The orange stripe of all Dutch flags gradually changed to red in the 1600's. Today Hudson's flags are recalled in the blue-white-orange flags flown by New York City, Albany, and Hartford.