Massachusetts Navy Ensign

Officially, the Massachusetts Sea Service Flag.

Date: 1776.

White field with green pine tree in center and a snake curled around trunk. The words "An Appeal to God" above the tree and "Dont Tread On Me" underneath. [R25]

On April 29, 1776, the general court of Massachusetts decided that for its provincial navy, "the Uniform of Officers be Green and White...and that the Colours be a white flag, with a green pine tree, and the inscription, "An Appeal to Heaven."

The flag received many interpretation. The motto was changed to "An Appeal to God". The coiled rattlesnake and the motto "Dont Tread On Me" were added. (Note: the appostrophe was not used on early flags using the "Dont Tread On Me" motto.)