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How the U.S. Navy names ships

Photo # NH 99426 Motor boat Boy Scout underway, ca 1916-17Do you remember the USS Boy Scout?

I wrote about Boy Scout last May, having found the name and photograph while researching at the Department of Navy—Naval Historical Center, looking for old photographs that showed the Stars and Stripes.

Historical photographs are indexed in myriad ways, but not by whether the U.S. flag is included in the image (so far as I can determine).  One of my on-going projects is to find the oldest photographic image that includes the flag.

I was trying to identify the flags on Boy Scout, when I included this line: “Maybe the Boy Scouts of American should lobby the U.S. Navy for a new USS Boy Scout, in time for the BSA centennial.”

The more I thought about it, the better I liked the idea, so I wrote a letter to the Honorable Donald C. Winter, Secretary of the Navy. It was short—one page—and I got right to the point and asked him to consider naming a new boat the USS Boy Scout in honor of Scouting‘s centennial coming in 2010.

I won’t share the entire letter with you, but here is a bit:

The first USS Boy Scout was small, and a second Boy Scout should probably be small too, in keeping with the spirit of the first. Regardless of the size, it needs to be a very special boat. It would be greatly beloved and her crew would never lack for attention.

After a few weeks, I received a nice reply from the office of the Secretary of the Navy, written and signed by a Navy captain working in the office. The captain thanked me for writing, and went on to explain that there were more requests for “names” than there were boats waiting for names, but that Secretary Winter considers every request. And I certainly understand that.

This morning I was (once again) looking in the archives and found this great article which explains the history of the Navy’s “ship-naming” process. There are all kinds of rules and precedents, and then exceptions to the rules.

Ordinarily I would link you directly to the page, but the Naval Historical Center is content-rich and operates slowly. I am including the entire article here, and applaud the superior scholarship of the unknown authors. It is a wonderful look at one part of U.S. Navy history.




WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

Ship Naming in the United States Navy
The Navy traces its ancestry to 13 October 1775, when an act of the Continental Congress authorized the first ship of a new navy for the United Colonies, as they were then known. The ships of the Continental Navy, and of the Navy later established under the Federal Constitution, were not named in any strictly categorical manner.
Ship names in the Continental Navy and the early Federal navy came from a variety of sources. As if to emphasize the ties that many Americans still felt to Britain, the first ship of the new Continental Navy was named Alfred in honor of Alfred the Great, the king of Wessex who is credited with building the first English naval force. Another ship was named Raleigh to commemorate the seagoing exploits of Sir Walter Raleigh. Some ships honored early patriots and heroes (Hancock and General Greene). Others commemorated the young nation’s ideals and institutions (Constitution, Independence, Congress). A 74-gun ship-of-the-line, launched in 1782 and donated to the French Navy on completion, was named America. A Revolutionary War frigate named Bourbon saluted the King of France, whose alliance would further the cause of American independence. Other ship names honored American places (Boston, Virginia). Small warships– brigs and schooners–bore a variety of names. Some were named for positive character traits (Enterprise, Diligent). Others had classical names (Syren, Argus) or names of small creatures with a potent sting (Hornet, Wasp).
On 3 March 1819 an act of Congress formally placed the responsibility for assigning names to the Navy’s ships in the hands of the Secretary of the Navy, a prerogative which he still exercises. This act stated that “all of the ships, of the Navy of the United States, now building, or hereafter to be built, shall be named by the Secretary of the Navy, under the direction of the President of the United States, according to the following rule, to wit: those of the first class shall be called after the States of this Union; those of the second class after the rivers; and those of the third class after the principal cities and towns; taking care that no two vessels of the navy shall bear the same name.” The last-cited provision remains in the United States Code today. Continue reading How the U.S. Navy names ships
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Golden Boy




bsa100_oath Is there a special Boy Scout in your life? Looking for the gift of a lifetime? How about this beauty!

In celebration of 100 years of Boy Scouting, the Henry Repeating Arms Company has built the Henry Golden Boy “Boy Scouts of America Centennial Edition” Rifle.

This special rifle features the Scout Oath, Scout Law, scrollwork and traditional Boy Scouts of America logo embellishing the receiver, as well as a 100 Years of Scouting logo and Centennial Edition gold filled etchings in the buttstock and forearm.

No one knows how many boys first learned to shoot on the rifle range at a Boy Scout camp, but that first experience could have been with a Henry Rifle.

DKH_24It was the tiny American flag that caught my eye, in a Henry Repeating Arms advertisement on the inside back cover of the October edition of Texas Co-op Power magazine (the Pedernales Electric Cooperative Edition).

As you might expect, that little flag was irresistible to me, and I had to take closer look. Let me encourage you to take a closer look too. The story of the Henry Repeating Arms Company is American history. There is a great video on the Henry company website that shows how the rifles are made, and you can ask for a free color catalog. I have one, and it is a splendid publication.

I’ve been hinting to Husband for a new sewing machine for Christmas, but there’s no reason I can’t have  Golden Boy of my own. Right?

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The Arrowmen of ArrowCorp5—a summer to remember

DKH_07 The five national park service projects of ArrowCorp5 are finished. There are several ways to quantify the value of this work, but for the young men themselves, the value is immeasurable.

In the years and decades to come, each young man will remember one very hard week in the sun, and see how his life changed as a result.

Videographers for ArrowCorp5 created five videos, which can be viewed on the OA website.  The Daily Flag has previously linked to the other four videos, and now Bridger-Teton is ready.

The videos recap the five weeks of work and fun, from all five National Forest sites:  Mark Twain, Manti-La Sal, George Washington and Jefferson, Shasta-Trinity, and Bridger-Teton.

Additionally, some of the Arrowmen who were working in the Bridger-Teton National Forest stepped in to help to aid the Forest Service in fighting the New Forks Fire, north of the town of Pinedale, Wyoming. Several volunteer arrowmen assisted the Forest Service by working in the Fire Cache, which is the warehouse of fire supplies and materials that are disseminated whenever a large fire breaks out in the Forest.

DKH_06Congratulations to the Arrowmen, and to all others involved in ArrowCorp5.  You have given much to the nation, and it will not be forgotten.

The images used here were taken from the Bridger-Teton video. 

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“He embodied that whole boy scout motto … “

From The Daily Times in Farmington, New Mexico.


imageWorld War II icon dies at 82: Rockwell model inspired scouts to aid country,  community

By James Monteleone The Daily Times

08/04/2008 12:00:00 AM MDT

AZTEC — Boy Scouts of America lost its poster face last week when Arthur Robert Hamilton died in Aztec at the age of 82.

Bob Hamilton was best known for his iconic image as the saluting scout in Norman Rockwell‘s 1944 painting, "We, too, have a job to do," which rallied Boy Scouts to collect cans and rubber, volunteer in the community and raise victory gardens for food during World War II.

But Hamilton, who died July 28, was more than a teen in the right place at the right time when Rockwell put his brush in the paint for the World War II-era image: Hamilton was a life-long scout, family members said.

"He was very much defined by being a Boy Scout," said Alison H. H. King, Hamilton’s daughter. "I think he influenced us to be all individuals, do the right thing, go above and beyond, make the right choices and life will pay you back."

For the rest of the tribute, go to The Daily Times of Farmington, New Mexico.

For more of Rockwell’s Scouts, link here.

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Boy Scouts seek permanent home for National Jamboree for 2013 and beyond

Planning ahead for the next 100 years

boy-scout-logo-in-red-white-blueDALLAS, June 3 /PRNewswire/ — The Boy Scouts of America announced today it is expanding its search to find a permanent home for one of America’s great traditions—the Boy Scouts National Scout Jamboree.

Securing a permanent home for the National Scout Jamboree, beginning with the 2013 event, is one of several initiatives launched in celebration of the BSA’s 100th Anniversary.

The project is a significant economic development opportunity. The initial capital investment for the project is expected to be more than $100 million. Through the years, national jamborees—which typically take place every four years—have attracted more than 200,000 visitors per event.

The permanent site will offer high adventure experiences and leadership development training year-round, as well as potentially host future World Scout Jamborees.

“This is an amazing opportunity to create an anchor for our next 100 years,” BSA Chief Scout Executive Bob Mazzuca said. “We are looking for ideas that could potentially include creating leadership and training centers, innovation labs, and leadership development programs. There are no limits to the creative ways this new home can be used—we are confident that a number of superior ideas will be generated through this process.”

Initial proposals are due July 11, and site visits and other planning will commence immediately thereafter. The BSA plans to make a selection by the end of 2008. Among other requirements, potential sites must:

— Have spectacular natural beauty
— Have water for recreational activities
— Be at least 5,000 acres and available for donation, long-term lease (100+ years), or sale
— Be located within 25 miles of an interstate or a four-lane divided highway
— Be located within 150 miles of a commercial service airport with medium or large hub status
— Be located in an area with adequate medical services
— Be accessible year-round via standard modes of transportation

The BSA has partnered with McCallum Sweeney Consulting to aid in the search and evaluation process. To learn more about the site selection process, visit or call 866-672-4255.

“The initiative to select and build a permanent home for the jamboree and associated year-round use is a superior economic development opportunity,” Mazzuca said. “The jamboree site and its project elements can create new jobs and a long-term, sustained economic boost for the surrounding community.”

Well now … I live on a pretty lake, less than 20 miles north of New Braunfels (with a fine airport and hospital), which lies on I-35 in-between Austin and San Antonio, where there are huge airports and world-class medical facilities. The Texas Hill Country is famed for its beauty, and we enjoy four seasons —but you’ll never need a snowmobile. I wonder if there are 5,000 acres available at the Guadalupe River entance of the lake?

About the Boy Scouts of America

Serving more than 4.6 million youth between the ages of 7 and 20, with more than 300 councils throughout the United States and its territories, the BSA is the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training. The Scouting movement is comprised of 1.2 million volunteers, whose dedication of time and resources has enabled the BSA to remain the nation’s leading youth-service organization. For more information on the BSA, please visit

More information about 100 Years of Scouting can be found at

SOURCE Boy Scouts of America

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Thursday—It’s the new Friday!

Some The Daily Flag readers may be taking Friday off this week, to enjoy a four-day weekend. Typically, we stay tucked in on holidays, or try to get out days early and stay late to avoid traffic. But husband has a long honey-do list for the weekend—which he’ll learn about around six o’clock this evening.

I continue to read news stories about Scouting, and now that I’ve read a thousand or so Eagle Scout stories, one stunning fact stands out: newspaper stories usually print the names of the Eagle Scout’s parents, and with very few exceptions, most Eagle Scouts come from homes with both parents living in the same house.

There are several ways to interpret this, but most obviously: it helps to have a Father in the home. I don’t know if the BSA National Council keeps up with a statistic like this, but it leads me to my next observation.

For Scoutmasters and other adults involved in Scouting—you must redouble your efforts to reach out to those boys with absent fathers. There can be no doubt—these boys need more help. And I’m not saying that the absent fathers aren’t good fathers, but Scouting is about more than one meeting a week. And I’m not slighting mothers either, but mothers are not fathers.

How many troops set the goal that every Tenderfoot will reach Eagle? Why do we quote “2%” like it’s something to be proud of? Which Scout troops in the nation produce the most of Eagles? That’s a story I’d like to read. I encourage you O Reader, to set up your own Google Reader to search for “Boy Scout” news. You’ll get about a dozen stories a day. Read each one—it won’t take long, and see if your impression is the same as mine.

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USS Boy Scout

USS Boy Scout

USS Boy Scout

No, really.

Maybe the Boy Scouts of American should lobby the U.S. Navy for a new USS Boy Scout, in time for the BSA centennial.

Readers—help me out here—and identify the three flags flying on the boat. One on the bow, one on the stern, and one up top that is hard to see. I know the one on the stern is a form of the U.S. flag, but I don’t know the nomenclature for maritime flags.

This fast (26.2 mph) craft was ordered delivered to the Navy on 5 May 1917, and became USS Boy Scout (SP-53). She was subsequently sent overseas for “aviation service.” Underway, circa 1916-1917.

Photographed by George N. Harden, Rockland, Maine.
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

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Boy Scouts of America plans largest National Service Project since World War II

What an outstanding project. I can’t imagine how long an endeavor of this size has been in the works.
Congratulations and Good Luck to everyone involved, and thank you.

Five National Forest Sites, 5,000 Scout Volunteers, Five Weeks of Service

oa-fs-patchThe Boy Scouts of America announced today (April 29, 2008) that the Order of the Arrow, the BSA’s national honor society, will conduct its largest national service project since World War II.

The service project named ArrowCorps5, will be conducted at five U.S. Forest Service sites across the country over a five-week period during the summer of 2008. This service project is expected to include 5,000 members of the OA providing more than 250,000 hours of service.

“ArrowCorps5 is the largest, most complex, most challenging
conservation project ever conceived by the Order of the Arrow
and Boy Scouts of America,” said Brad Haddock, chairman,
National Order of the Arrow Committee. “This project provides
a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for each participant to set
an example of leadership in service to those who treasure
our national forests.”

The national forest sites selected for this project are Mark Twain, Missouri; Manti-La Sal, Utah; George Washington and Jefferson, Virginia; Shasta-Trinity, California; and Bridger-Teton, Wyoming.

“Kids must understand why forests are so valuable so they will grow into citizens who support conservation. Building on the Forest Service tradition of conservation education, we will work with partners to ensure that American children have the opportunity to experience the great outdoors, whether it is a remote mountain wilderness or a spot of nature in the heart of a city,” said Forest Service Chief Gail Kimbell. “Today’s children—and theirs—will need to be able to take the baton and finish the race. For that, they will need a full understanding of why forests are so valuable, along with a strong land ethic. It is our job to give them both.”

Scouts from all across the United States will be given an opportunity to make significant and positive impacts on their national forests. These service projects will include ecosystem restoration, invasive plant and tree removal, trail construction and maintenance, bridge work, campsite improvements, erosion and weed control, and fence removal.

The project also serves as a precursor to the Boy Scouts’ plans for its 100th anniversary celebration in 2010. “For nearly 100 years, the Boy Scouts of America has created a strong foundation of leadership, service, and community for millions of America’s youth,” Haddock said. “We celebrate this legacy as we reaffirm our commitment to inspire and prepare future generations of leaders through historic and meaningful projects and partnerships.”

ArrowCorps5 Service Project Schedule

Missouri—Mark Twain National Forest—June 7-14, 2008
Utah—Manti-La Sal National Forest—June 14-21, 2008
Virginia—George Washington and Jefferson National Forests—June 21-28, 2008
California—Shasta-Trinity National Forest—July 12-19, 2008
Wyoming—Bridger-Teton National Forest—July 26-August 2, 2008

Serving nearly 4.7 million young people between 7 and 20 years of age with more than 300 councils throughout the United States and its territories, the Boy Scouts of America is the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training.

More than 180,000 youth and adults are members of the Order of the Arrow, the national honor society of the Boy Scouts of America. The purposes of the Order of the Arrow are to recognize those Scout campers who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives, develop and maintain camping traditions and spirit, promote Scout camping, and crystallize the Scout habit of helpfulness into a life purpose of leadership in cheerful service to others.

Established in 1905, the U.S. Forest Service is an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Forest Service manages public lands in national forests and grasslands. These public lands encompass an estimated 193 million acres of land, an area the size of Texas. The Forest Service has a long and distinguished history of service to the public and stewardship of our national forests and grasslands. The agency’s mission is best captured by the phrase “Caring for the Land and Serving People.”

SOURCE: Boy Scouts of America

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AT&T gives $350,000 grant to Atlanta area Boy Scouts

I confess that I don’t always agree with the social agenda of at&t, but I want to acknowledge them for this investment in today’s youth. As readers of this site know, I believe in the mission of the Boy Scouts of America program. The BSA, by building men, is also building honest, ethical, moral leaders of the future.

$350,000 is a large amount of money at the council level of BSA. As with all non-profit organizations, Boy Scouts of America runs on a tight budget, and is always looking for private and corporate donations to fill in the gaps, and this fills a big one.

Congratulations to the Atlanta Area Council, and a big THANK YOU at&t!

Atlanta Area Boy Scouts Receive $350,000 AT&T Grant to Build a State-of-the-Art Learning and Meeting Center
AT&T Inc. has announced a $350,000 grant to the Boy Scouts of America — Atlanta Area Council to assist in the renovation of facilities at the Bert Adams Scout Reservation. The new multipurpose facility, located in Newton County, will feature a large, new learning center and meeting space, and communications capabilities and computer training stations will be in smaller meeting rooms. In addition, the facility will undergo structural improvements during the renovation.