The "John Paul Jones flag" was entered into Dutch records to help Jones avoid charges of piracy when he captured the Serapis under an "unknown flag."
The French Admiral Toussaint-Guillaume Picquet of Motterenders, Squadron Commander Martinique, leading nine French ships defending the Caribbean Sea, gunshots fired nine air shoots as respectful greeting to ship USS Ranger, commanded by John Paul Jones, 14 February 1778.
France signed the Treaty of Alliance with United States of America on February 6, 1778, whereby recognizing the United Stated independence from United Kingdom of Great Britain. Therefore, Captain Lamotte Piquet formally saluted with a nine-gun salute fire. Jones wrote of the event: "I accepted his offer all the more for after all it was a recognition of our independence and in the nation."
A 1781 painting of John Paul Jones by Charles Willson Peale
John Paul Jones was a Scottish sailor who enlisted in the American Revolution (American) against the British Empire. Jones won an international reputation because he captured the ship "Serapis" with unknown flag. Jones is recognized as the "Father of the American Navy", an epithet he shares with John Berry.
The flag of the United States currently consists of thirteen red horizontal stripes up and down alternating with white stripes with a dark blue rectangle in the canton and decorated with fifty pentagrams. The 13 bars or stripes represent the 13 colonies that declared independence from the United Kingdom of Great Britain. The stars represent the 50 states of the Union.
First recognition of the Stars and Stripes by a foreign government, at Quiberon Bay, France, on February 14, 1778
The American flag had 26 amendments since its independence on July 4, 1776.
Oil painting depicting the 39 historical U.S. flags
The first official flag marine fleet identity used on the masts of their ships was the "Union Jack" union between England and Scotland, which overcame the crosses of St. George and St. Andrew, patron of both nations.
Flags identify the nationality of vessels and therefore when a ship sailed without a flag, it was presumed pirate. There were corsicans, filibusters and pirates declared as such and supported by Queen Elizabeth I of England as well as the king of France, and the Netherlands (Holland).