Walken’

Powder River’s Appalachian Trail Journey from Georgia to Maine 2008

Don’t Give Up the Ship

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A couple of weeks ago I visited the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland. They have a truly breathtaking campus and a really, really good tour through their visitors center. It was fascinating learning about the lives of the midshipmen and how so very different their experience is from your average college student. For many people the highlight of the Naval Academy is seeing the Chapel along with the crypt which contains the grave of John Paul Jones. It is a truly awesome sight, and as I understand his grave compares with that of Napoleon.However, for me, I was waiting for something different. In Memorial Hall is displayed perhaps the most famous flag in U.S. Navy history. “Don’t Give Up The Ship” were some of the last words of Captain James Lawrence as his frigate the USS Chesapeake was boarded by the British sailors of the HMS Shannon in 1813. His best friend was Commodore Oiver Hazard Perry who was about to go into action himself with a small fleet on Lake Erie. He had a blue flag made with the words “Don’t Give Up The Ship” and renamed his flagship to the USS Lawrence, for his fallen friend. What followed was one of the most famous battles in US Naval history and Perry would be victorious.I have been in love with ships since I was a little kid and I think if I were to join a service it would be the Navy. Seeing this flag in person shook me with the full power of its history and meaning. If the Naval Academy were nothing more than a small one room school and they had this flag on display I could not have been more pleased. I decided right then and there that this flag was going on my pack, as a patch. It will go with me from Springer to Katahdin, as a reminder to myself and others who see it that this is something worth doing and worth finishing.

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1 Comment

  Mary wrote @

I’m very interested in this flag. Do you know if it is the original or a replica?
Thanks


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