The flag is commonly known as a "standard" or "battle color." There are no exact records about the flags used by first American Marine Corps. It is believed, though, that the Grand Union Flag was first carried ashore by Captain Samuel Nicholas and his battalion on New Providence Island in 1776. The Gadsden flag was probably carried at this same mission. A variety of colors were carried by the United States Marine Corps troops from the Revolution onward. Their designs varied. It comes with a scarlet writing over a white field and has the Corps emblem in gold and grey. The emblem of the Corps, consisting of a globe placed over an anchor and bearing at the top an eagle, has been in use from at least the First World War onward. The globe features the New World, site of most early Marine Corps military engagements. Red and gold were made the official colors of the Corps in 1925 and the current standard (flag) of the Corps was established in 1939. The scroll held in the beak of the eagle in this flag bears the Latin motto SEMPER FIDELIS (Always Faithful).
Learn about the armed forces flag history.
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