13 October 2005, U. S. Navy’s 230th Birthday
The Honorable Gordon R. England
Secretary of the Navy
1000 Navy Pentagon
Washington, D.C. 20350-1000
Dear Secretary England,
Carpe Diem! Seize the Day! Seize this 230th Navy Birthday to seize, reclaim, and restore a vital
bit of Naval History given to US by the “father of His country” – George Washington, to restore
the proud flying of the Navy’s First Navy Flag -the Washington Cruisers Flag - as the Navy Jack.
While prudence might suggest to wait and “staff” this proposal further, the historical staff work
already done in support of this worthy action is both broad and deep, aspects of point 8 in your
Leadership Lecture at the Naval Academy Forrestal Series. (...all Forests need a Liberty Tree.)
When I took time to “staff” this proposal with the Head of the Early History Division of the
Naval Historical Center, the timelines of our Navy’s and Nation’s history were used to disprove
the claims of the Navy’s founding by Commodore Esek Hopkins with the Alfred at Philadelphia
that did not occur until December 1775 when according to Pulitzer Prize winning historian
Barbara Tuchman, First Lieutenant John Paul Jones raised the Grand Union Flag (with the
British Union as its canton, leading to the later need for a different Navy Jack), that replaced the
Continental Flag flown at Bunker Hill with its “Tree of Liberty” canton. Also in error are the
claims of the birth of the Navy on Lake Champlain that occurred even later - in August 1776.
Again, setting aside all the history of the two flags in “competition” as THE First Navy Flag, let
us consider the alternate messages of each. Consider: What is our message to the Philippine
fisherman, or the Arab seaman, of a snake -- or an evergreen tree -- to represent America?
In nearly every world culture (except maybe the Chinese with their “Year of the Snake” and
reverence for Dragons - serpents), snakes or serpents are considered EVIL. On the other hand,
consider the message of an evergreen tree, even if the connection with the Tree of Liberty is lost.
The Washington Cruisers “Evergreen Tree of Liberty” Flag is “tall and tough as a tree”, as
used in Navy ships. A tree is upright, sheltering, and life affirming. A symbol for America!
Damn the Torpedos, Full Speed Ahead! A proud slogan taken from a later war for liberty.
Fear not the barking dogs of the ACLU-types, use your action of this correcting of history to
affirm and reinforce the courage of the leaders of the Naval Academy who stand firm and upright
like the Navy’s Tree of Liberty Flag, against agents of PC - “Political Corruptness”, and so, stand
boldly for one of American’s First Amendment “dearest rights and liberties” of free expression.
Sir, I ask that you take action to sign Enclosure (1), or similar, a new Navy instruction to be
signed and dated 13 October 2005, the 230th Birth of the U. S. Navy the proposed new SECNAV
Instruction to direct the use of the Washington’s First Navy Flag, in place of the Union Jack flag,
or the “Serpent over Stripes” flag at least for the duration of the Global War on Terrorism.
James Renwick Manship, Sr., LCDR, USNR
Enclosure (1) SECNAV Instruction 10520.7 of 13 October 2005 (proposed)
Washington Cruisers - First Navy Flag before “Serpent”
Naval Historical Center site says this flag was first
“...I am like an evergreen tree...”
“Whoever is wise, let him understand these things.
“Whoever is intelligent, let him listen.”
Hosea 14:8-9: TLB [partial quotations]
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Posted by J R "States" Manship at Thursday, October 13, 2005