Navy SPECOPS Teams Told to Stop Wearing “Don’t Tread on Me” Flag
Because we all know that if there’s one thing special operators absolutely religiously adhere to, its regulations on the wear and use of utility uniforms.
According to one report in the conservative Daily Caller, an email went out through Navy petty officer support channels directing Navy personnel to cease and desist wearing the Naval Jack or Gadsden Flag patches on their uniforms – something apparently traditionally done by Navy SEALs.
Both flags feature a rattlesnake and the words “Don’t tread on me.” It was not immediately clear which flag the Navy operators wear, though the Naval Jack is more closely identified with naval tradition. In fact, a Navy-wide directive instructs all U.S. Navy ships to fly the Naval Jack for the duration of the War on Terror.
But someone in the Chuck Hagel Department of Defense or Obama’s White House is now having second thoughts about the flag.
The Naval Jack dates back to 1775, though the earliest versions did not include the snake or the description: Just 13 alternating red and white stripes. The snake and inscription appear to have been added sometime before 1880.
A March 2010 order, NAVADMIN 116/10 specifically authorizes the wear of the Naval Jack “Don’t Tread on Me” flag or patch for Naval personnel assigned to or serving with Army units at the discretion of the local Army commander.
It is not clear why Navy officials made this change, and whether the change was specific to certain commands within the Navy or will be implemented Navy-wide.