Monday, April 23, 2012

One Flag Over Hudson

At one time, as this picture shows, flags flew from tall vertical flagstaffs mounted on the roofs of buildings up and down Warren Street. Vincent Mulford continues the tradition on his building at 417-419 Warren Street.

When Gossips asked Mulford about the flag now flying atop his building, he explained that he buys ship's flags to display whenever he can. He told how he had found a wood stump on the roof of his building, which turned out to be the base of a flagstaff. The staff went down through the roof and was attached to the ceiling rafters. The stump reminded him of a ship's mast, and he speculated that the flagstaffs of Hudson may have been crafted by the city's shipbuilders.

The flagstaff that Mulford now uses is a mahogany ship's mast he found in Maine. Comparing its scale with that of the stump he discovered, Mulford concludes that the original flagstaff was at least twice as tall as the one he now has on his roof. 


  1. I took some nice photo's of Vincent's flag at night.It looks so beautiful ,inspiring blowing in the wind against the sky.I wonder how many
    more bldgs on Warren still have them.

  2. THe flag poles were very tall, indeed. A postcard dated 1910 looking west on Warren from 6th shows poles as tall as three story buildings.

  3. While we all know they didn't have Photoshop a hundred years ago, they did have photo-doctoring techniques, which were often used to make postcard images more pleasing/interesting. I have to be suspicious of the furthest=away flag poles (in the b&w image). The scale/thickness of the poles alone are identical to the pole a whole 2 blocks closer, which reads as impossible to me... my 2¢

  4. Oh, Lisa! Are you suggesting that someone took the picture and then added the flagstaffs for patriotic effect?

    Now that you point it out, it does seem possible.