Unofficial U.S. Navy Ship's Flag - U.S.S. Parsons.
This nylon flag is an unofficial or "ship's company" flag for the U.S.S. Parsons. Also called "Battle Flags" or "Unrep Flags." The term "unrep flag" derives from the unfurling of the ship's flag from a yardarm after an underway replenishment, or "unrep."). These flags are officially discouraged by the United States Navy but nevertheless exist in large numbers and are tolerated because of their positive effect on moral.

"Battle" or "Unrep" flags are also displayed on important occasions such as when returning to homeport at the end of a long deployment or in welcoming guests to the quarterdeck. They also serve as a morale booster for ship's crews. They have their genesis in the flags flown during the War of 1812. Perhaps the most famous of these is Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry's "Don't Give Up the Ship" flag, one of the Navy's most prized relics, now at the museum at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. The "kill flags" shown by US submarines during WWII are another famous example.

The U.S.S. Parsons (DD-949) began her career as a destroyer in the United States Navy. She was named in honor of Rear Admiral William S. Parsons (1901-1953), who worked on the Manhattan Project during World War II. (See other artifacts listed below from Admiral Parsons in the ZFC.) She was launched in 1959 and served in the Pacific Fleet until 1966, when she went in to Long Beach for a refit.

Redesignated the DDG-33 in 1967, we can date this flag to a point after this date. The flag was simply a stylized version of the ship's insignia patch place sewn on to a light blue field, and bearing the nickname for the Parsons: "The Fleet's Finest DDG". The Parsons continued to serve in the Pacific Fleet until she was decommissioned in 1982. The flag is well made and finished with a quick-snap and ring typical of US Navy flags from this period.

It is interesting to note that the namesake of the USS Parsons as the former owner of several items in the Zaricor Flag collection, which came from his estate. They are: ZFC3860, Col. Paul W. Tibbits, personalized autograph card; ZFC3861, a photograph of Capt.Robert A Lewis & the Philippine Hero, Gen Carlos Romulo; ZFC3863, an official photograph of Bikini Atoll - Baker Test #6- 25 July 1946; ZFC3862 an official photograph of Bikini Atoll - Baker Test - Exp. #2 -July 25, 1946; ZFC3864, Fat-Man Atomic Bomb Theater-made Model, 1945 and the ZFC3853, Admiral Parsons personal copy of the Enola Gay Hiroshima Log written by Capt. Lewis, Co-Pilot of the Enola Gay.

• USS Parsons, 1967-1982.
• Purchase by Zaricor Flag Collection, J&S Military Surplus, Moss Landing, CA., 1999.


Unofficial Ship Flags, Sea Flags, 6 December 2011, from:

USS Parsons, Wikipedia, 6 December 2011, from:

Image Credits:
Zaricor Flag Collection