Flushing is a neighborhood in the north-eastern part of the New York City borough of Queens, in the United States. While much of the village is residential, Downtown Flushing, centered on the northern end of Main Street, is a large commercial and retail area and is the fourth largest central business district in New York City.
In 1645, Flushing was established by the Dutch on the eastern bank of Flushing Creek under charter of the Dutch West India Companyand was part of the New Netherland colony. The settlement was named after the city of Vlissingen, in the southwestern Netherlands, the main port of the company. However, by 1657, the residents called the place "Vlissing." Eventually, "Flushing," the British name for the Dutch city of Vlissingen was used. In its early days, Flushing was inhabited by English colonists, among them a farmer named John Bowne, who defied a prohibition imposed by New Amsterdam Director-General Peter Stuyvesant on harboring Quakers, by allowing Quaker meetings in his home. The Flushing Remonstrance, signed in Flushing on December 27, 1657, protested religious persecution and eventually led to the decision by the Dutch West India Company to allow Quakers and others to worship freely. As such, Flushing is claimed to be a birthplace of religious freedom in the new world.