Preserving San Diego's Naval Heritage


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Liberty call! Liberty Call! Hugs, smiles, kisses and tears. Sailors get their feet on solid ground and better yet, their arms around their loved ones.  All the while patient reporters and photographers are waiting to conduct interviews and get that once in a lifetime photo. Many fathers meet their new born for the first time, friends greet each and now carry on the conversation they have longed yearned for. It's a joyous occasion and a celebration for those so deserving! Meanwhile, across the pier, the Sailors of DDG-73 are underway. Shift Colors!

A Homeward Bound Pennant flies from the mast. US Navy vessels which have been in service outside of U.S. waters for nine months or more are authorized to fly a special pennant on the last leg of its homebound voyage, prior to arrival at the first U.S. port.

The length is one foot for each person, officer or crew, who has been aboard for 9 months or more, providing the length does not exceed the ship's length. There is one star for the first 9 months and then an additional star for each additional 6 month period the ships operated away from the US.

The Homeward bound pennant is removed the evening the ship arrives back in the USA and is cut up and given to the crew. The blue field and stars are presented to the captain, and the remainder is divided among the crew.

The "Don't Tread On Me" flag was authorized May 31, 2002 for all US Navy ships. As the first ships of the Continental Navy readied in the Delaware River during the fall of 1775, Commodore Esek Hopkins issued a set of fleet signals. His signal for the "whole Fleet to Engage" the enemy provided for the "strip'd Jack and Ensign at their proper places. The temporary substitution of this Jack represents an historic reminder of the nation's and Navy's origin and will to persevere and triumph.

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