First stars and stripes over an American vessel worn by BON HOMME RICHARD during action with British frigate SERAPIS on 23 September 1779. Presented to James Bayard Stafford for meritorious services. In the memorable battle between the BON HOMME RICHARD and SERAPIS, the flag was shot away from the mast head and fell into the sea. Instantly, Lieutenant Stafford plunged overboard, recovered the flag, and again nailed it to the masthead. Called the John Paul Jones Starry Flag.
Courtesy of Mrs. Elizabeth Stafford Sloan Ginn
Naval History and Heritage Command