The U.S. Navy is ordering its elite SEALs team to replace its “Don’t Tread On Me” Navy Jack, which rests on uniform sleeves, with the American flag.
The “Don’t Tread On Me” Navy Jack includes 13 horizontal stripes, red and white, with a rattlesnake across the flag and the words “Don’t Tread On Me,” on a white stripe.
The rattlesnake and the words "Don’t Tread On Me" were originally part of the Gadsden flag, which was designed in 1775 as a rallying call by the Continental marines during the American Revolution, but has never been the official flag of the United States.
In 2002, under the Bush administration, U.S. Navy ships were ordered to use the “Don’t Tread On Me” rattlesnake design as part of the “war on terror,” which was not declared on any specific country.
Over the past few years, the "Don't Tread On Me" snake and slogan has been used by anti-government protesters, the Tea Party and racists, notes BET.com.
One Navy SEAL told The Daily Caller that he was told the change was because “the Jack is too closely associated with radical groups."
According to The Daily Caller, the following email was sent to SEAL members on Oct. 22:
WARCOM and GROUP TWO/ONE have pushed out the uniform policy for NWU III and any patches worn on the sleeve.
All personnel are only authorized to wear the matching “AOR” American Flag patch on the right shoulder. You are no longer authorized to wear the “Don’t Tread On Me” patch.
Again the only patch authorized for wear is the American flag on the right shoulder. Please pass the word to all.
Senior Enlisted Advisor