First Navy Jack Flag


Historical flags of the U.S. are all 3’x5′ and made of 100% nylon material with header and two brass grommets.

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First Navy Jack Flag

Much debate has arisen about whether or not the First Navy Jack was flown by Commodore Esek Hopkins on the Alfred, flagship of the Continental fleet, in January, 1776. Described as a "strip’d jack" in the "Signals for the American Fleet," the flag could have been the First Navy Jack or just a plain red and white striped jack that was commonly used by American merchant ships.  Conceived by Commodore Hopkins in 1775, the First Navy Jack is shown as having 13 alternating red and white stripes with an uncoiled rattlesnake and the "Don’t Tread on Me" motto. It was first used as a signal to engage the enemy.

Whitney Smith, Vexillologist and director of the Flag Research Center, confirms that the original design of the First Navy Jack is not known. Published in 1880, William Preble’s book History of the Flag of the United States, depicts a slightly different "Don’t Tread on Me" Navy ensign. Historians agree that Preble’s rare color plate probably shows the traditional design of the First Navy Jack flag, and it developed into the flag we know today.

  For more information on historical flags, please visit our historical flags page.

Additional information

Weight1 lbs
Dimensions10 × 7 × 2 in


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