NYC Resources311Office of the Mayor

Madison Square Park

Eternal Light Flagstaff map_it

History

This text is part of Parks’ Historical Signs Project and can be found posted within the park.

This monumental flagstaff honors those victorious forces of the United States Army and Navy who were officially received at this site following the armistice and the conclusion of World War I. The monument was commissioned by Rodman Wanamaker at a cost of $25,000.

The massive stepped ornamental pedestal, made of Milford pink granite, is inscribed with dedicatory tributes to those who served their country in World War I, and lists also the names of significant battle sites. It was designed by Thomas Hastings (1860-1929), whose architectural firm Carrere and Hastings were responsible for many notable buildings, including the New York Public Library. The lavish decorative bronze cap at the base of the flagstaff includes garlands and rams heads, and was sculpted by Paul Wayland Bartlett (1865-1925). The monument supports a star-shaped luminaire at the top of the pole, which is intended to be lit at all times as an eternal tribute to those who paid the supreme sacrifice.

The monument was dedicated on Armistice Day, November 11, 1923, and each year is the site where the annual Veterans Day parade concludes, and official ceremonies are conducted.

Photo of the Eternal Light Flagstaff in Madison Square Park, Manhattan

Eternal Light Flagstaff Details

  • Sculptor: Paul Wayland Bartlett
  • Architect: Thomas Hastings
  • Description: Flagstaff with ornamented base
  • Materials: Bronze and Milford pink granite
  • Dimensions: Flagstaff H: 30'; Base H: 17'9" W: 22' D: 22'
  • Cast: 1924
  • Dedicated: 1924
  • Donor: Rodman Wanamaker
  • Inscription: East face:
    TO OUR HEROES / 'TIS THE / STAR SPANGLED BANNER / OH LONG MAY IT WAVE/ O'ER THE LAND / OF THE FREE / AND THE HOME OF / THE BRAVE / YPRES-LYS / AISNE LYS / SOMME DEFENSIVE / SOMME OFFENSIVE /

    West face:
    OISE-AISNE / ST. MIHIEL / CAMBRAI / AISNE-MARNE/ VITTORIO-VENETO/
    MEUSE-ARGONNE / SOMME OFFENSIVE / CHAMPAGNE-MARNE / MONTDIDIER-NOYON/ THIS STAR WAS LIGHTED / NOVEMBER XI MCMXXIII/

    North face:
    IN MEMORY OF THOSE / WHO HAVE MADE / THE SUPREME
    SACRIFICE / FOR THE TRIUMPH OF / THE FREE PEOPLES / OF THE WORLD/

    South face:
    ERECTED / TO COMMEMORATE / THE FIRST HOMECOMING / OF THE
    VICTORIOUS / ARMY AND NAVY / OF THESE UNITED STATES / OFFICIALLY
    RECEIVED BY / THE CITY OF NEW YORK / ON THIS SITE / ANNO DOMINI
    MCMXVIII /

Please note, the NAME field includes a primary designation as well as alternate namings often in common or popular usage. The DEDICATED field refers to the most recent dedication, most often, but not necessarily the original dedication date. If the monument did not have a formal dedication, the year listed reflects the date of installation.

For more information, please contact Art & Antiquities at (212) 360-8143

Directions to Madison Square Park

Madison Square Park Weather

  • Fri
    Mostly Cloudy
    52°F
  • Sat
    Sunny
    65°F
  • Sun
    Sunny
    60°F
  • Mon
    Mostly Sunny
    63°F

7-day forecast

Was this information helpful?