Flown by the first American Navy as it assembled under Commodore Esek Hopkins, the legendary First Navy Jack has since been a symbol of both the American Navy and spirit. The traditional thirteen stripes are crossed by a Timber Rattlesnake, which was especially significant in the American Revolution, as it became an avatar for the Colonial attitude. The snake does not strike unless provoked, and gives warning first with its rattle, which shown on the flag has thirteen layers. The bold words, “Don’t Tread on Me” reiterate the point and ensure that it is understood. Currently, in accordance with the orders of Secretary of the Navy, all US ships are to fly the First Navy Jack for the duration of the War on Terrorism, in honor of those killed on September 11, 2001.