Dutch West India Company

Circa: 1621 A.D.

Red, white and blue in three vertical stripes. (C7)

In 1621 the West India Company came into control and the red stripe replaced the orange stripe used for the East India Company banner. The initials, GWC, stand for Geoctroyeerde West Inische Compannie. This company was located in Holland.

Company banners are important in the flag history of the 17th and 18th centuries because companies rather than governments were often responsible for the actual exploration, settlement, and administration of colonial territories.

In 1621, the government of Holland authorized a settlement on Manhattan Island named New Amsterdam in the New Netherlands. Their Governor, Peter Minuit, purchased the island from the Indians for goods worth about $24.00.

In 1624 the English fleet came into the harbor. Rather than fight, the Dutch surrendered. The British renamed the settlement New York in honor of the Duke of York