The Navy Jack is the flag flown by United States Naval Vessels. It's motto of "Don't Tread on Me" is emblazoned on a Red and White Striped background with a rattlesnake stretched across it. The flag has a long and revered history in America's Navy spanning back to the time of our country's fight for Independence. However, Navy SEAL commanders are now banning the historical symbol. The question is, who is behind the ban?
An amendment to the Navy code called SECNAV Instruction 10520.6 says that as of May 31, 2002 all ships were to fly the flag through the duration of the "War on Terror."
Carl Higbie, who served the United States in Iraq, writes:
According to Higbie, his friend asked his leadership about the change and the response was "The Jack is too closely associated with radical groups." Presumably this would be us Tea Party types. However, our founding fathers were considered pretty radical, in fact traitors, for desiring their independence from Great Britain. I suppose that is good company to be in.
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
After reading the email, I first wondered, 'why?' (Actually, first I headed to the gym to take out my frustration and anger on some unsuspecting weights with the fury and intensity only a former Navy SEAL can exert.) Why would our leaders sell out our heritage? Why would they rob present and future sailors of our battle cry?
This begs the question of who is defining "radical groups." I can tell you that Mohamed Elibiary is one that advises the Department of Homeland Security on terrorism and we know that efforts have been made in that department, as well as other agencies in the federal government to purge Islam from the roster of radical groups and terrorism. They have even sought to give preferential treatment to Islamic supremacists. However, we've also noticed an alarming mention of Christians, Tea Party advocates, Constitutionalists, liberty minded people and conservatives being listed as radicals. Noticably, missing are liberals, socialists, communists, Marxists and the like.
When Higbie's friend asked what he should do about the order, he responded, "You took an oath to defend this country from enemies foreign and domestic. Will you put your career before country? Will you put your career before your sacred oath?"
As for Higbie, he states, "I can tell you though that an enemy — foreign or domestic — that tries to take the Navy Jack from my uniform could only do so by ripping the patriotic patch from the uniform of my cold, dead body."
I'm in agreement with Higbie, though I will correct something that he said. The oath is to defend the Constitution, not the country.
Higbie is not the only one to speak out about this. Chris Hagerman at NavySeals.com also writes on the subject:
I have heard some defend this action stating that it is due to trying to maintain uniformity between the operators. We all know that is complete garbage. As members of special operations, we have had the ability to wear custom uniforms that often did not always match our teammates. We also could wear our own custom patches. These include state flag patches, unit or platoon patches, or just plain motivational patches. From wearing blue jeans in Vietnam and non-military hunting camouflage patterns currently, to wearing the Punisher, Crusader, or Navy Jack on our uniforms or body armor, special operations personnel bring the fight to the enemy using battle symbols we feel strongly about.
Whether it be a symbol of our heritage or a sign to strike fear into our enemies, it is clear to me that someone sitting behind a desk needs to keep their politics or weaknesses away from the Teams and all other special operations personnel.
The question now is will the SEALs comply with the order or will they guard their heritage, one that the Obama administration seems to be hell bent on destroying, along with their brothers in arms, such as those killed in Extortion 17. It seems this is nothing more than more demoralization of our military. Frankly, I'm wondering when our military will have enough and start to defend the Constitution against America's elected domestic enemies, including the Commander-in-chief.
UPDATE: The Navy has thus far been unable to confirm the validity of the email from the senior official. If it’s legit, then someone in in the spec-ops community got their wires crossed.
“As of September 2013, all Naval Special Warfare personnel are authorized to wear the U.S. flag and the “Don’t Tread on me” uniform patches,” Navy spokeswoman Lt. Cmdr. Sarah Flaherty told Navy Times. “In the past, NSW did not authorize wearing either patch unless one was deployed or in a work-up cycle. However, NSW recently sought special permission from the Chief of Naval Operations staff to wear the patches within the continental United States.”Don't forget to Like Freedom Outpost on Facebook, Google Plus, & Twitter. You can also get Freedom Outpost delivered to your Amazon Kindle device here.