By Petty Officer 2nd Class Steven L. ShepardOctober 8, 2009
On September 17 the Center for Information Dominance Detachment Monterey (CIDDM) raised the First Navy Jack on the flagpole adjacent to the Navy detachment headquarters for the first time at the Presidio of Monterey.
This gesture signifies the CIDDM's dedication to assisting the preparation of Sailors for possible shipboard life by creating an atmosphere that is in keeping with the Navy Fleet. Navy ships were instructed in 2002 to fly the First Navy Jack upon their bows for the duration of the War on Terrorism as a "temporary substitute" of the Union Jack.
The First Navy Jack contains 13 stripes alternating red and white signifying the original 13 colonies along with the image of a rattlesnake above the words "Don't Tread on Me."
As the first ships of the Continental Navy readied in the Delaware River during the fall of 1775, Commodore Esek Hopkins issued a set of fleet signals. His signal for the "whole Fleet to Engage" the enemy provided for the "strip'd Jack and Ensign at their proper places."
Thus, from the very beginning of the U.S. Navy, the Jack has been used onboard American warships. The first navy Jack was a flag consisting of 13 horizontal alternating red and white stripes bearing diagonally across them a rattlesnake in a moving position with the motto "Don't Tread On Me."