This flag in use during the American Revolutionary War. This is one of the first flags to show 13 stripes (one for each American colony). It features a rattlesnake above the warning, "DON'T TREAD ON ME". The rattle snake had become a traditional symbol of the American Colonies and the Colonial Navy adopted the sea going version of this.In 2002 the Secretary of the Navy directed that all U.S. Navy ships raise the historic Navy Jack and continue to do so throughout the global War on Terrorism. The lack of an apostrophe in "DONT" is based on the only rendition we have of the flag during the revolution, a print made by Thomas Hart in August, 1776. That print clearly shows the word with no apostrophe. The rattle snake had become a traditional symbol of the American Colonies and the Colonial Navy adopted the sea going version of this.Our flag historian has written a history of this flag. If you would like a copy, let us know. We will be happy to email it to you by email or send by US Postal Service.