Historic Flags - Single Reverse?

Discussion in 'American Flag History' started by d-j, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. d-j

    d-j New Member

    On some of our historic flags with text, such as the Navy Jack or Perry's "Don't Give Up The Ship" flag, were these typically Single Reverse? What I mean is, where these flags with text blank on the back other than the stitching through the back? Did they have reversed letters? Curiosity has the better of me.
     
  2. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    Hello, d-j. Welcome to the forum!

    On some of our historic flags with text, such as the Navy Jack or Perry's "Don't Give Up The Ship" flag, were these typically Single Reverse? What I mean is, where these flags with text blank on the back other than the stitching through the back? Did they have reversed letters?

    Interesting question. The "First Navy Jack" is basically legendary and probably didn't exist during the Revolutionary War. At any rate, there are no existing examples. No Gadsden flags exist either; however, we have a written description that says the images on those flags were painted rather than sewn. Perry's flag, which survives and was recently conserved, has the letters sewn on both sides.

    There's been some discussion in other forums about whether there is supposed to be an apostrophe in the "Don't Tread On Me" and "Don't Give Up the Ship" mottoes. We have no original example of a DTOM flag, so there is really no way to tell. Oddly enough, the original British engraving that inspired the FNJ had the apostrophe between the D and the O: D'ont. The Perry flag has no apostrophe.

    Peter Ansoff
     
  3. d-j

    d-j New Member

    Thanks for the reply. Thanks too for the correction on the Nave Jack. Just tried to think of a flag with text off the top of my head without considering it's authenticity or origin.

    Could you direct me to some of the written sources that describes painted lettering/images. I'd love to read up on it a little. I have found the topic quite fascinating since it was posed.
     
  4. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    I wrote an article for "Raven" a few years back on the First Navy Jack, which included some material on other rattlesnake flags. It's available in the NAVA digital library here:

    NAVA - Home

    Appendix D discusses some aspects of the history of the Gadsden flag, and includes the quote suggesting that its design was painted rather then sewn.

    Peter Ansoff
     

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