New/Improved weather-proof 4"x6" First US Navy Jack Bumper Sticker. Exact replica of the 1st Navy Jack, Don't Tread on Me Flag. The U.S. Navy has authorized the use of the U.S. Navy Jack flag on select combat uniforms and Navy warships.
4"x6" vinyl sticker, easy peal, indoor/outdoor use, industry leading adhesive . Laser printed, detailed artwork, vivid long lasting colors. Made in the U.S.A.
In the autumn of 1775, as the first ships of the Continental Navy readied in the Delaware River, Commodore Esek Hopkins issued, in a set of fleet signals, an instruction directing his vessels to fly a "striped" jack and ensign. The exact design of these flags is unknown. The ensign was likely to have been the Grand Union Flag, and the jack a simplified version of the ensign: a field of 13 horizontal red and white stripes. However, the jack has traditionally been depicted as consisting of thirteen red and white stripes charged with an uncoiled rattlesnake and the motto "Dont Tread on Me" (sic); this tradition dates at least back to 1880, when this design appeared in a color plate in Admiral George Henry Preble's influential History of the Flag of the United States. Recent scholarship, however, has demonstrated that this inferred design never actually existed but "was a 19th-century mistake based on an erroneous 1776 engraving".
In 1778, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin wrote a letter to the Ambassador of Naples, thanking him for allowing entry of American ships into Sicilian ports. The letter describes the American flag according to the 1777 Flag Resolution, but also describes a flag of "South Carolina, a rattlesnake, in the middle of the thirteen stripes."
The rattlesnake had long been a symbol of resistance to the British in Colonial America. The phrase "Don't tread on me" was coined during the American Revolutionary War, a variant perhaps of the snake severed in segments labelled with the names of the colonies and the legend "Join, or Die" which had appeared first in Benjamin Franklin's Pennsylvania Gazette in 1754, as a political cartoon reflecting on the Albany Congress.
The rattlesnake (specifically, the Timber Rattlesnake) is especially significant and symbolic to the American Revolution. The rattle has thirteen layers, signifying the original Thirteen Colonies. And, the snake does not strike until provoked, a quality echoed by the phrase "Don't tread on me."
Although many kinds of snakes are oviparous (lay eggs), rattlesnakes are ovoviviparous -- the female retains the eggs in her body that then hatch as they are laid or soon afterwards; or viviparous (give birth to live young). Baby snakes are ready to go as soon as they are hatched or born. There is little to no parental care of the newborn snakes.