Possibly the most famous battle flag of all time, Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry had the "Dont Give Up The Ship" ensign created just prior to the epic Battle of Lake Erie, during the War of 1812. In the days leading up to the battle, Commodore Perry asked his fellow shipmate, mentor, and friend, LT Samuel Hambleton to help him come up with a battle flag to signal to his fleet when to begin firing on the British ships. It was LT Hambleton who suggested they use an ensign with the words "Don't Give Up The Ship!" written on it as a tribute to Perry's good friend CAPT James Lawrence who uttered them to his crew as he lay mortally wounded on the deck of the USS Chesapeake, just months before.
At the commencement of the battle, Perry's flagship, the Lawrence led the US fleet in a "line of battle". However, the favorable wind shifted, and Perry's next-in-command, CAPT Jesse Elliott, failed to bring his ship Niagra into range to engage the British fleet. As a result, Perry's ship Lawrence sustained catastrophic damage by the relentless British onslaught, killing or seriously wounding four-fifths of the crew. Miraculously, Perry and Hambleton were spared, and together fired the last working gun aboard Lawrence until it, too, failed. With most of his men dead or wounded and no working cannons, Perry called for someone to lower the battle flag that Hambleton had designed, and then had his men row him through constant sniper fire (reportedly shooting one oar in half) back to the Niagra, where he relieved Elliott of duty and took command. After sailing the fresh ship back into battle, he defeated the British fleet. Although Commodore Perry won the battle on the Niagara, he received the British surrender on the deck of the barely afloat Lawrence to allow the British to see the terrible price his men had paid.
Following the British surrender, Perry sent his commanding General a message penciled on the back of an envelope, "We have met the enemy, and they are ours; two ships, two brigs, one schooner, and one sloop...."
Titan Strategic Group is proud to release the subdued version 3 of this epic battle flag patch as a tribute to all of our fellow shipmates who have paid the ultimate price for the freedoms we are entrusted with. Hooh-yah! Don't give up the ship!
- 2.5" x 2"
- Velcro backed