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What Is The Difference Between Navy Day And The Navy’s Birthday?

Written by
Rob Brittain
Published on
October 26, 2020 at 9:04:00 PM PDT October 26, 2020 at 9:04:00 PM PDTth, October 26, 2020 at 9:04:00 PM PDT

October is a special month for the U.S. Navy. Both the Navy’s Birthday (Oct. 13) and Navy Day (Oct. 27) are both celebrated in October and are also recognized as U.S. flag flying days. It is tradition for Americans to fly their U.S. flags at full staff on these two special days. Are you wondering why there are two Navy-themed celebrations during the same month? Read on and allow history to reveal the answers.


On October 13, 1775, the Continental Congress voted for the creation of what would evolve and grow into our modern-day Navy. The delegates to the Continental Congress agreed to the purchase of two seafaring vessels that would be equipped with carriage guns, swivel guns and 80-person crews. The purpose of this inaugural fleet was to intercept the ammunition, military equipment and supplies that were being shipped to the British forces stationed in North America. Based on the considerable seeds of success that were sown by the Continental Navy, the U.S. Navy later arose and has sailed ever since to protect America’s freedom on the open seas.


Navy Day, although not considered a national holiday, has been celebrated for more years than the Navy’s birthday. In 1922, inspired by the U.S. Navy’s patriotism and valor, the Navy League of the United States, a civilian non-profit organization that advocated on behalf of America’s sea services, made plans to begin an annual Navy Day celebration to honor the important work of the U.S. Navy. The Navy League chose October 27 as the date for the celebration since it coincided with the birthday of President Theodore Roosevelt, who previously served as the Navy’s Assistant Secretary.


Navy Day celebrations were held from 1922 through 1949. Following the 1949 Navy Day celebration, Secretary of Defense Louis A. Johnson reimagined Navy Day as Armed Forces Day. In doing so, Johnson expanded the scope of the celebration to include all branches of the United States military: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy, and most recently, Space Force, the newest military branch addition. Although Armed Forces Day officially replaced Navy Day after 1949, Navy Day is still celebrated on naval bases and by current and former U.S. Navy service members. In fact, Navy Day events occur throughout the month of October and the year.


The celebration of the Navy’s Birthday was not officially recognized until 1972, even though the U.S. Navy’s official “birth” was in 1775. Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt worked with the Navy League to officially recognize the U.S. Navy’s Birthday on October 13. On October 13, 2020, the U.S. Navy celebrated its 245th birthday. The U.S. Navy is also celebrated on Armed Forces Day every year on the third Saturday in May.


At Carrot Top Industries, we enjoy celebrating both the Navy’s Birthday and Navy Day. Remember to always fly your U.S. flag at full staff on all important U.S. flag flying days. As Americans, we must remember to show our respect and thanks as we honor all active duty and retired military personnel for their service. To learn more about the U.S. Navy, visit the official Navy website.


To purchase Navy flags, military flags or American flags, you may contact our Customer Care Professionals at 800-628-3524, shop online or send us your product needs by email or through our Contact Our Team online form.


Online Sources: Navy League of the United States, Naval History and Heritage Command & National Today