The First Navy Jack is the current U.S. jack authorized by the United States Navy. The design is traditionally regarded as that of the first U.S. naval jack flown in the earliest years of the republic. 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.”
By an instruction dated May, 31 2002 (SECNAV Instruction 10520.6), the Secretary of the Navy directed the use of the rattlesnake jack in place of the union jack for the duration of the Global War on Terrorism.
Polyester. Approx 3ft by 5ft