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Admiral Esek Hopkins and the Gadsden Flag

Admiral Esek Hopkins and the Gadsden Flag

The U.S. Naval Historical Center’s website provides the following information about the Navy's first chief:

Esek Hopkins was born in Rhode Island on 26 April 1718. As a young man he began a career at sea, captaining merchant vessels and, during the French and Indian War, a successful privateer. After the American Revolution broke out in 1775, Rhode Island appointed Hopkins as commander of its military forces. Later in that year he became Commander in Chief of the still very small Continental Navy.

Note the flag in the Hopkins image.  A coiled snake, superimposed over thirteen alternating red-and-white stripes, says: “Don’t Tread Upon Me.” 

According to the Naval Historical Center, this flag (designed by Christopher Gadsden of South Carolina) was Hopkins’ personal standard.  It is often referred to as "the Gadsden flag."


Media Credits

Mezzotint, published by Thomas Hart, London, 1776. 

U.S. National Archives, image 148-GW-461.

 

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"Admiral Esek Hopkins and the Gadsden Flag" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Dec 17, 2017.
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