The Flag, The Flag, The Precious Flag: Lake Erie, 1813
Oil on panel
20 x 26 inches
26 1/4 x 32 1/4 inches
Wally Findlay, Palm Beach, Florida
Private collection, Florida
Rehs Galleries, Inc., New York City
Also titled and signed on a piece of paper on the reverse.
James Lawrence (October 1, 1781 – June 4, 1813) was an American naval officer. During the War of 1812, he commanded USS Chesapeake in a single-ship action against HMS Shannon commanded by Philip Broke. He is probably best known today for his last words or "dying command" "Don't give up the ship!", which is still a popular naval battle cry, and which was invoked by Oliver Hazard Perry's personal battle flag, adopted to commemorate his dead friend.
The Perry Flag was displayed on his flagship during a victorious engagement against the British on Lake Erie in September 1813. The original flag is displayed in the Naval Academy Museum and a replica is displayed in Memorial Hall at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. A replica is also on view at Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial, on South Bass Island, Ohio.