The U.S. Navy flag history is a long and rich one, comprised of many different flag designs including the Infantry Battalion flag and First Navy Jack flag.
If someone asked you to draw or describe the official U.S. Navy flag, could you do it? Here is a background on Navy flags throughout history and a detailed description of each.
Near the end of the 19th century, the Infantry Battalion flag was introduced for use by the naval landing forces. This blue flag depicts a white diamond in the middle with a blue anchor and rope. For over 60 years, this flag acted as the unofficial Navy flag displayed during parades and other ceremonies. It wasn’t until April 24th, 1959 that the official flag was authorized by Presidential order from Dwight D. Eisenhower.
The current and official U.S. Navy flag is comprised of a darker blue field, sometimes outlined with yellow fringe. In the middle of the flag is the U.S. Department of the Navy seal, which consists of an eagle flying in front of a ship. Below the seal is a yellow ribbon that reads, “United States Navy.”
The first Navy Jack flag has red and white stripes, with the words “Don’t Tread On Me,” and a rattlesnake in the middle; it is the current U.S. jack authorized by the United States Navy. The “Don’t Tread on Me” motto was originally established by Christopher Gadsden in the 1700’s, and later adopted by the Navy. The rattlesnake symbol also has a long tradition that originated from colonial America’s resistance to the British. The Navy Jack flag is most often associated with war and still used today.
Honor the U.S. Navy by flying your own official Navy flag or Navy Jack flag. Order one today for your home or business. They also make great gifts!
Looking for more military flag history? We have a full series of blog posts dedicated soley to honoring the branches of our military and their flags. Don’t miss out on the great history behind the Marine Corps, Army, Coast Guard, and Air Force flags!