The Navy Jack is the ‘don’t tread on me’ flag, one that has earned a revered place in America’s naval history and a beloved place in sailor’s hearts, through its use for over two centuries. This symbol of America’s naval ferocity has spanned our country’s entire existence, flying from the masts of the Continental Navy during the war of independence, to today’s War on Terror. In fact, an amendment to the Navy code called SECNAV Instruction 10520.6 clearly states that as of 31 May 2002 all ships are to fly the flag throughout the duration of the War on Terror.
So why would ranking SEAL commanders ban the historical symbol? Is the proverbial top bass banning the flag? Is President Obama?
During my two deployments to Iraq, “Don’t Tread on Me” was a phrase seen on nearly every uniform and platoon space — including mine. From patches to flags to large paintings on concrete barriers, our commanders themselves wore the insignia on their sleeves — until now.
Perhaps this is why so many of my former teammates felt compelled to send me the email below. They may not be able to expose the administration’s travesty, but I can. The email, dated October 22, reads:
WARCOM and GROUP TWO/ONE have pushed out the uniform policy for NWU III and any patches worn on the sleeve.
All personnel are only authorized to wear the matching “AOR” American Flag patch on the right shoulder. You are no longer authorized to wear the “Don’t Tread On Me” patch.
Again the only patch authorized for wear is the American flag on the right shoulder. Please pass the word to all
Senior Enlisted Advisor
When a friend of mine asked his leadership the same question, he was told, “The Jack is too closely associated with radical groups.” We must assume that this thought policeman embedded in the SEAL community is speaking of the Tea Party, whose flag (which also dates from the American Revolution) depicts a snake with the same defiant slogan as The Navy Jack.
At the rate that Obama is wrecking the military, the Navy Jack will be replaced with the Gay pride rainbow flag.