Archdiocese of New York

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Country : United States

Denomination : Roman Catholic

Established : 1808, Archdiocese since 1850

Arms (crest) of Archdiocese of New York

Official blazon

Argent, upon a saltire between four crosses gules a mill-sail of the field.


The red saltire is clearly intended as a “Cross of St. Patrick”. Meanwhile, the windmill blades displayed saltirewise are the central element in the arms of the City of New York. The combination of both elements thus unites an emblem of the Archdiocesan patron saint with an emblem of the see city.

Because the majority of Catholics in New York in the early 19th Century were Irish, the patron saint of the Archdiocese of New York and of its cathedral church is St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.

The saltire gules on a field argent are the arms of the Duke of Leinster (the premier peer of Ireland), and of the Fitzgerald family. With the creation of the chivalric “Order of St Patrick” by King George III in 1783, the red saltire of the Fitzgeralds was adopted as the badge of the Order under the name “the cross of St. Patrick”, and as such the red saltire was soon considered a symbol of Ireland and of St. Patrick.

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Literature : Background by Francis Spangenberg