Author Topic: Flag of the Month June 2021 - First Navy Jack  (Read 608 times)

Offline Mrs. Smith

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Flag of the Month June 2021 - First Navy Jack
« on: June 01, 2021, 09:22:20 PM »
Ladies and Gents, please welcome the Flag of the Month for June, 2021...

The First Navy Jack Flag!

The First Navy Jack flag is a revolutionary war flag featuring thirteen red and white stripes with a rattlesnake and the words “Don’t Tread On Me” emblazoned across the center. The thirteen stripes are intended to represent the original 13 colonies that eventually became the United States of America. The rattlesnake is a historic symbol of resistance. Typically, the flag's rattlesnake is depicted with red scales on its back, but some have depicted the snake as all-gold.



The rattlesnake had long been a symbol in the colonies of resistance and defiance to the Crown. The phrase "Don't Tread on Me" may have been coined during the American Revolutionary War, a variant perhaps of an earlier image. A snake severed in segments and labelled with the names of the colonies and the legend "Join, or Die", had first been published in Benjamin Franklin's Pennsylvania Gazette in 1754, as a political cartoon reflecting on the Albany Congress. The rattlesnake (specifically, the Timber Rattlesnake) is especially significant and symbolic to the American Revolution. The rattle has thirteen layers, signifying the original Thirteen Colonies. Additionally, the snake does not strike until provoked, a characteristic expressed by the phrase "Don't tread on me."

In late 1775, as the first ships of the Continental Navy readied in the Delaware River, Commodore Esek Hopkins issued an instruction directing his vessels to fly a "striped" jack and ensign. The exact design of these flags is unknown. But, since about 1880, this jack has traditionally been depicted as consisting of thirteen red and white stripes charged with an uncoiled rattlesnake and the motto "Dont Tread on Me"; this design appeared in a color plate in Admiral George Henry Preble's influential History of the Flag of the United States. Recent scholarship, however, has demonstrated that this design never existed but "was a 19th-century mistake based on an erroneous 1776 engraving".



In 1778, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin wrote a letter to the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Sicily, thanking him for allowing entry of revolutionary ships into Sicilian ports. The letter describes the new flag of the colonies according to the 1777 Flag Resolution, but also describes a flag of "South Carolina, a rattlesnake, in the middle of the thirteen stripes."
Recent History and Usage:

On February 21, 2019, the US Navy announced that they would be making a change as to which Navy Jack flag would be regularly flown aboard Navy ships and crafts. Starting on September 11, 2002, the First Navy Jack flag was the flag designated to fly on all US Navy vessels. As of June 4, 2019, that changed, and the US Navy Jack flag – also known as the Union Jack flag – will be flown on all Navy vessels.



The Navy is also reestablished the custom of having one warship (the commissioned ship with the longest period in active status, aside from the USS Constitution) authorized to fly the First Navy Jack flag, until that ship is decommissioned or becomes inactive. As of June 4, 2019, the only ship that will continue to fly the First Navy Jack is the USS Blue Ridge.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2021, 08:14:32 PM by Mrs. Smith »
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Offline cornhskr

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Re: Flag of the Month June 2021 - First Navy Jack
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2021, 11:24:10 PM »
Noted!