Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam will fly the First Navy Jack, the iconic flag featuring the rattlesnake and “Don’t Tread On Me” motto, throughout 2018 to honor the 17 sailors killed this past summer in collisions aboard the destroyers Fitzgerald and John S. McCain.

Raising the flag is intended to preserve “the culture of tradition and resolve” in the Navy, a statement said.

The origin of the flag dates back to the Revolutionary War, when the Continental Navy flew a variation that inspired the version used today.

The symbolism of the Navy Jack represents the core values of the service, Base Command Master Chief Allen Keller said.

“2017 was a challenging year for the Navy,” he said in the press release. “We as an installation will fly the First Navy Jack as a reminder to every Airmen (sic), Sailor, civilian and family member to get back to basics, honor our country and remember our history.”

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