Merchant Marines Flag
Shop for authentic United States Merchant Marines Flags. We offer indoor and outdoor Merchant Marines flags in nylon and polyester. Our outdoor flags are finished with a canvas heading, while indoor flags are finished with a lined pole hem and your choice of with or without fringe. We also offer indoor and outdoor Merchant Marines flag sets.
History of the Merchant Marines Flag
The United States Merchant Marines Flag features a dark blue background with a shield in the center that is red, white, and blue with an anchor in it and an eagle that stands at the top of the shield.
Above the eagle "In Peace and War" is written and below the shield, "1775" is written. The United States Merchant Marine Flag was adopted on May 24th, 1994 and represents the loyalty shown to the United States of America by the merchant marines.
The flag was designed by the United States Army's Institute of Heraldry and was unveiled by the maritime administrator Albert. J. Herberger who stated, "America's merchant marine and civilian seafarers have put themselves at risk to support our armed forces throughout our history." The flag is mainly used for parades and indoor use.
The United States Merchant Marine consists of ships (such as, oil tankers, ferries, freighters, and cruise ships) that are owned by companies or individuals that are controlled by the government. These ships are sometimes required to work for the armed forces during periods of battle and conflict.
During wartime, the ships will deliver personnel and military material and during peacetime, the ships are used mainly to transport passengers and cargo. The ships do not have a role in combat but just to serve and help during the times of combat.
The first wartime role of a merchant marine was on June 12th, 1775. The United States Merchant Marine served during very important battles, such as the Vietnam War, Korea War, and most importantly World War II. During World War II, the merchant marine had the highest rate of casualties, more than any other service or branch of the armed forces.
Tons of merchant ships were lost (approximately 3.1 million) and many mariners lost their lives. It was their role during WWII to move material needed by the combat forces, including food and drink, across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Following WWII, President Franklin D. Roosevelt stated "mariners have written one of its most brilliant chapters. They have delivered the good when and where needed in every theater of operations and across every ocean in the biggest, the most difficult and dangerous job ever undertaken. As time goes on, there will be greater public understanding of our merchant's fleet record during this war."
The history of the merchant marines dates back to the 1600s when the first English Colony was established and became reliant on exports to England (mainly tobacco) as well as settlers bringing horses, cattle, and sheep to the area. From this time, shipbuilding became a large industry.
By 1776, with the success of the shipbuilding industry and shipping industry, many ports began to specialize in merchant shipping which mainly included tobacco and rice and other manufactured goods. While they were still British colonists, the merchant vessels were protected by the Royal Navy, but by 1783, following the American Revolutionary War, America was responsible for the safety of the merchant vessels and civilians.