Printed flag on silk, 12.75 x 18.25 in. Oval images of sixteen American battleships encircling the portraits of President Theodore Roosevelt, Rear Admirals Charles Sperry, William Emory, Charles Thomas, and Robert Evans superimposed on stripes. Ca 1907-1909.
The Great White Fleet, a United States naval force consisting of sixteen battleships painted white with gilded scrollwork and a red, white and blue banner on their bows, was sent around the world by President Theodore Roosevelt from December 1907 to February 1909 to showcase American military strength and sea power, particularly in the Pacific. The fleet consisted of four squadrons, each with four battleships and escorts, and 14,000 sailors. The fourteen-month voyage covered 43,000 miles and made twenty port calls on six continents. In port after port, thousands turned out to greet the Americans and to get a glimpse of the ships.
The fleet sailed from Hampton Roads, Virginia under the command of Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans aboard the USS Connecticut as flagship. Due to poor health, Evans was later replaced by Rear Admiral Charles S. Sperry. The cruise provided the officers and sailors with an historic, once-in-a-lifetime training adventure that paved the way for technical and operational improvements to future wartime vessels. It also provided the crew with a revitalized sense of pride in service and country and a unique opportunity to serve as ambassadors of good will for America and the United States Navy.
Provenance:J. Richard Pierce Collection of American Parade Flags
Few minor stains. Otherwise very fine condition.
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