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US FLAG TRIVIA
The Navy Jack flag, which was recently meant to fly on the oldest active duty warship, is now required to fly on all active duty warships in the United States Navy.
(click on flags for historical facts!)
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 signals for the "whole 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;
In 1977, the Secretary of the Navy directed that the ship in 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. USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) became the oldest ship on Sept. 30, 1998 when the USS Independence decommissioned.
Due to the U.S. participation in the global war on terrorism, the Secretary of the Navy has authorized all U.S. Navy ships to fly the "Don't Tread on Me" flag in lieu of the Union Jack to represent a historic reminder of the nation's and Navy's origin and will to persevere and triumph. Navy ships fleetwide commenced flying the first Navy Jack Sept. 11, 2001. There is no end date to this policy.
The crew of USS Kitty Hawk is proud to share the honor of flying the first Navy Jack as it symbolizes the Navy's battle call in the war on terror.