The Serapis Flag
The Serapis Flag: Designed with 13 stripes alternating red ,
white and blue. This flag was raised by Captain John Paul Jones on the British
frigate Serapis during the most famous Revolutionary naval battle.
He was born John Paul in Scotland in 1747 and went to sea when he was only
twelve years old. By the time he arrived in Philadelphia in 1775 as an experienced sea
captain, he had changed his name to John Paul Jones.
After conducting sea raids on the coast of Britain, he took command in 1779 of a
rebuilt French merchant ship, renamed the U.S.S.Bonhomme Richard to honor
Benjamin Franklin. On September 23, 1779, Jones engaged the British frigate
Serapis in the North Sea, daringly sailing in close, lashing his vessel to
the British ship, and fighting the battle at point-blank range. During the fight
two of his cannon burst, and the British captain asked Jones if he was ready to
surrender. Replied Jones: "Sir, I have not yet begun to fight." The American crew
finally boarded the Serapis after the British had struck her colors, and
from the deck of the Serapis they watched the U.S.S.Bonhomme Richard sink
into the North Sea.
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