Sailors hoist the colors crisp and promptly to start out the New Year. A new year, that starts the continual history of one of the most historic U.S. Naval bases – Pearl Harbor.
For this occasion, the First Navy Jack would rise under Old Glory, renewing the culture of tradition and resolve.
Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam will fly the “Don’t Tread on Me” Union Jack throughout 2018 to honor the 17 Sailors lost on USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) and USS John S. McCain (DDG 56).
The original flag, the Gadsden Flag was named after Continental Army Brigadier General Christopher Gadsden who designed it in 1775 and was used by the Continental Marines.
The Navy Jack’s motto goes back in history when young America, British colonies then, were fighting the great powers of Britain to claim their independence.
It’s unclear when exactly the U.S. Navy first adopted the First Union Jack as we know it. What is certain -- is when the country and our Navy has faced difficult times the flag has risen on the bow of the ship, signifying resolve.
Rear Adm. Brian P. Fort, commander, Navy Region Hawaii the purpose of flying the First Navy Jack is a reminder that our warfighting edge is not only back but renewed and forged with purpose.
“Here in Pearl Harbor, we rose to the challenge 76 years ago as “Remember Pearl Harbor” sharpened our warfighting culture,” Rear Adm. Brian P. Fort, commander, Navy Region Hawaii, said. “In the wake of 9/11, when our culture was tested, we rose to the challenge once more. At the direction of the Secretary of the Navy, Gordon England, we returned to our First Navy Jack, “Don’t Tread on Me,” on the jack staffs of all Navy warships as a historic reminder of the nation’s and Navy’s origins and our will to persevere and triumph."
Base Command Master Chief Allen Keller said flying of the First Navy Jack is a symbol of resolution. He challenges his Joint Base family, service members and civilian a like, to move forward and build on the history and legacy of this country and the U.S. Navy.
“2017 was a challenging year for the Navy,” said Keller. “We as an installation will fly the Navy First Jack as a reminder to every Airmen, Sailor, civilian and family member to get back to basics, honor our country and remember our history.”