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Navy SEALs Order More 'Don't Tread on Me' Patches

First Navy JackThe U.S. Navy is ordering more "Don't Tread on Me" flag patches eight months after it was reported that Navy SEALs had stopped wearing them because the Tea Party used a similar flag.

The U.S. Naval Special Warfare Command ordered the patches in an official announcement posted June 3 that was first reported by Dan Lamothe with the Washington Post.

Known as the First Navy Jack, former Navy Secretary Gordon England authorized it in 2002 as the Navy's official jack for the Global War on Terrorism. Sailors and SEALs have since often worn the symbol as a patch on their left shoulder when deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Last  November, Carl Higbie, a former Navy SEAL, reported for the Daily Caller that SEAL commanders had told their units to stop wearing the Navy Jack patches because it looked similar to the flag that Tea Party leaders have adopted.

Navy officials denied the story to multiple news outlets and sailors have continued to wear the patch since.

Of course, the Tea Party most often uses the Gadsden flag, not the First Navy Jack. Both have the words "Don't Tread on Me," but one has stripes and the other is yellow. The Gadsden flag also features a coiled snake while the First Navy Jack's snake is elongated.

The Gadsden flag was flown during the Revolutionary War and used at times by the Continental Marines.

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