Commodore Perry 3×5 Flag

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Don’t Give Up the Ship Flag – War of 1812

Captain James Lawrence initially was a law student but ultimately opted for a career in the United States Navy, becoming a midshipman in 1798. Captain Lawrence served with distinction on several different vessels and in different theatres during his career as a naval officer. Also during his career, he became friends with Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry. In March of 1813 (during the War of 1812) Lawrence was promoted to Captain and took command of the USS Chesapeake frigate ship two months later. The Chesapeake left port on June 1st, 1813. Shortly after leaving port Lawrence and his crew attacked the Royal Navy frigate HMS Shannon which was blockading Boston Harbor. In a brief but fierce battle, the British ship disabled Chesapeake, and Captain Lawrence was mortally wounded. As he was being carried below deck for treatment, he gave the officers his final order: “Don’t give up the ship. Fight her till she sinks.” The crew, however, was overwhelmed by a British boarding party, and the Chesapeake was captured by the British. Captain Lawrence died of his wounds three days later on June 4th, 1813 at only 31 years old while in British captivity. The captured Chesapeake was directed to Halifax, Nova Scotia. After learning of his friend, Captain Lawrence’s death, Commodore Perry ordered a large blue flag with the phrase, “Don’t give up the ship” sewn on in bold white letters as a memorial to the courageous Captain Lawrence. Even though Captain Lawrence’s crew and ship were overwhelmed and captured, The Captain’s famous last words became an inspiration to many US Navy personnel of the day and remain so today. While sailing under the new flag, Perry’s most famous naval battle occurred on September 10th, 1813, during the Battle of Lake Erie. While the British superior gunfire fell so heavily on Perry’s vessel, the USS Lawrence, it was rendered disabled. So he and his crew commandeered an alternate warship, The USS Niagara. While leading the US fleet from the Niagara they were able to defeat the remaining British fleet. After the battle, Perry and his men re-boarded the USS Lawrence and received the enemy surrender from its battered deck with Commodore Perry’s battle flag proudly flying from the mast.

This flag is a reproduction that closely resembles the Commodore Perry flag. The exact size and materials are not the same as the original. All of the artwork is visible on both sides of the flag and the lettering reads correctly from one side only.

  • One solid piece of printed, hemmed fabric
  • Lightweight 100-denier polyester that will fly nicely in the slightest breeze.
  • Bright colors
  • 4 rows of stitching on the fly end to prevent premature fraying
  • Reinforced header with brass grommets
  • Flag size: 3′ x 5′

Additional information

Weight 5.5 oz