United States Navy
Flag of the United States Navy
UseOther Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flag
Adopted24 April 1959
Infantry Battalion Flag
Former, unofficial flag of the United States Navy
UseOther Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flagSmall vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flag
AdoptedDecember 1864[1]
DesignDark blue foul anchor on a white diamond, with a dark blue background

The flag of the United States Navy consists of the seal of the U.S. Department of the Navy in the center, above a yellow scroll inscribed "United States Navy" in dark blue letters, against a dark blue background.

The flag was officially authorized by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on 24 April 1959 and was formally introduced to the public on 30 April 1959 at a ceremony at Naval Support Facility Carderock in Maryland.[2] It replaced the infantry battalion flag which had been used as the U.S. Navy's unofficial flag for many years beforehand.

It is used on land, displayed inside naval offices, in parades, and for other ceremonial occasions, and often on a staff at the quarterdeck of ships in port.[3] It is not flown by ships at sea, nor on outdoor flagpoles on naval land installations, and is not used as an identifying mark of U.S. Navy ships and facilities, as the U.S. Coast Guard ensign is.

Executive order

Small vexillological symbol or pictogram in black and white showing the different uses of the flag U.S. Navy flag as commonly manufactured and sold by private vendors, using unofficial proportions.

The following is details from the Naval Telecommunications Procedures, Flags, Pennants & Customs, NTP 13(B)

1710. FLAG OF THE UNITED STATES NAVY By Executive Order 10812 of 24 April 1959, the President, upon the recommendation of the Secretary of the Navy with the approval of the Secretary of Defense, established and prescribed an official flag for the United States Navy. This flag is to be 4 feet 4 inches hoist (width) by 5 feet 6 inches fly (length), of dark blue material, with yellow fringe, 2½ inches wide. In the center of the flag is a device 3 feet 1 inch overall, consisting of the inner pictorial portion of the seal of the Department of the Navy (with the exception that a continuation of the sea has been substituted for the land area), in its proper colors within a circular yellow rope edging, all 2 feet 6 inches in diameter above a yellow scroll inscribed "UNITED STATES NAVY" in dark blue letters.

  1. The U.S. Navy flag shall be used to represent the Navy as follows:
    1. At official ceremonies
    2. In parades
    3. During official Navy display occasions
    4. At public gatherings when the Navy is an official participant
    5. On such occasions as may be specifically authorized by the Secretary of the Navy.
  2. When used for the purposes listed above, the U.S. Navy flag will accompany, and take the place of honor next after the national ensign except when other branches of the armed forces are participating, in which case the service flags will take the precedence of the services which they represent, (see Article 1724 for the service precedences).
  3. The U.S. Navy flag shall not be used for outdoor fixed (permanent) display purposes.
  4. There are no cord and tassels authorized for use with the flag of the United States Navy.
  5. Battle streamers displayed on the U.S. Navy flag represent both war and non-war actions involving combat. The silver and bronze star embroidered thereon signify selected actions and campaigns in which the Navy has been engaged. Presidential Unit Citation, Navy Unit Commendation and Meritorious Unit Commendation streamers bear numerals rather than stars, indicating the total number of each award earned. Streamers are long, narrow, swallow-tailed ribbons, 3 to 4 feet long, of the same design and width as the service ribbons or unit decoration, and are displayed attached to the staff below the ornament by a brass ring.
  6. To determine eligibility and entitlement refer to SECNAVINST 1650.1 (current) (Navy and Marine Corps Award Manual) and SECNAVINST 10520.2 (current).
  7. The U.S. Navy flag is for official Navy use only, and shall not be made available to civilian groups, organizations or individuals.


The following streamers are authorized, in order of precedence:[4]

Navy jack

Main article: Jack of the United States

Jacks are additional national flags flown by warships (and certain other ships) on a jackstaff at the bow of the ship. These are usually flown only when not underway and when the ship is dressed on special occasions.

See also


  1. ^ United States Department of the Navy (1903). "South Atlantic Blockading Squadron". Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion. p. 88. Retrieved 26 June 2014. December 9, 1864. SIR: I send you three distinguishing pennants for the battalions of the fleet brigade–red for the howitzers, blue for the skirmishers, and white-blue for the marines, marked with an anchor. It will be well not to let our sailors and marines forget the habits to which they have been accustomed, for they may lose this without acquiring those of the soldiers, and I must confess to a preference for the more exact and respectful training of the Navy. It is by no means necessary to cause them discomfort, but they should never be allowed to omit the usual acknowledgements of the presence of their officers. Very respectfully, your obedient servant, J.A. Dahlgren.
  2. ^ First Sailor To Carry The Navy Flag Returns To Visit Ceremonial Guard, Navy.mil, 13 May 2009
  3. ^ US Navy flag
  5. ^ Chief of Naval Operations Public Affairs (21 February 2019). "Navy Returns to Flying Union Jack". United States Navy. Retrieved 23 February 2019.