The U.S. Navy traces its
roots back to Revolutionary War when the Continental Congress elected to arm
two ships with carriage and swivel guns in order to stop the transport of
supplies to the British Army. Since then the U.S. Navy has grown to become the
largest navel force in the world, surpassing the next 13 navies in fleet size.
Through the years, many
flags have flown above U.S Navy ships. Bearing everything from anchors to
rattlesnakes, these banners where the precursors to today’s official US Navy
For over 60 years,
starting at the end of the 19th century, the Infantry Battalion
flag, served as the naval flag. This banner, consisting of a blue background
with a white diamond and blue anchor and rope in the center, became one of the
most iconic, yet unofficial, military flags.
In 1959, President Dwight
D. Eisenhower authorized the creation of a new, official U.S. Navy Flag.
Presented to the public for the first time on April 30, 1959, this flag remains
a proud and important part of the U.S. Navy tradition.
With a design similar to
that of the other military flags, the naval banner features a dark blue
background often trimmed in gold fringe. In the center of the flag resides the
official seal of the U.S. Department of the Navy. The circular seal features a
square-rig ship with three masts sailing amid clear skies and calm seas. In
front on the ship is a bald eagle resting on an anchor. The seal is ringed in
gold rope with a gold banner bearing the words, “United States Navy” below.
many of the past versions of the US Navy flag were utilitarian and designed fly
from ship masts or gaffs, today’s flag is more ceremonial in nature. Rather
than identifying naval ships, it is used for parades, public gatherings and as
part of indoor flag sets. Choosing a made in USA flag for display on flag poles
or in memorial flag cases in an excellent way to honor friends and family
members in the armed forces or to bring back fond memories of serving at sea.