Submittion by NAVETSUSA
WIlliam Kramer Jr. (email@example.com).
The First Navy Jack
As the first ships of the Continental
Navy readied in the Delaware River during the fall of 1775, Commodore Esek
Hopkins issued a set of fleet signals. His signal for the fleet to engage
the enemy provided for the "strip'd Jack and Ensign at their proper places."
Thus, the First Navy Jack was a flag consisting of 13 horizontal alternating
red and white stripes bearing diagonally across them a rattlesnake in a
moving position with the motto "Don't Tread On Me."
In 1980, the Secretary of the
Navy directed that the ship in an active status with the longest total
period of active service shall display the First Navy Jack until decommissioned
or transferred to inactive service, at which time the flag shall be passed
to the next ship in line with appropriate honors. The display of this Jack
by the oldest ship in the fleet is an appropriate form of recognition and
promotes pride of service, enhances morale, and contributes to the tradition
of naval service.
Since June 30, 1995, USS INDEPENDENCE
(CV62) has proudly flown the First Navy Jack -- the first and only aircraft
carrier to hold this honor.
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Last updated 21 April 1998
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