Answered By: Marie Rose
Last Updated: Nov 17, 2015     Views: 130

Erected in 1963, it is dedicated to the Anglo-American alliance in World War II. Parts of HMS Seraph were transferred to The Citadel through the office of Admiral of the Fleet Sir Caspar John, GCB (1903-1984), First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff (1960-1963), in 1963. The monument incorporates the periscope, forehatch (forward torpedo loading hatch), steering wheel, plane wheels and bell of the Seraph. Also included is her Jolly Roger. This is the unofficial skull and crossbones flag flown by British submarines in the Mediterranean to record successful missions. The flag was flown when entering harbor on return from a successful patrol, and was kept flying until sunset on the day of return. The Seraph's Jolly Roger has various embroidered symbols for successful operations. For example, a red bar for each warship torpedoed, a red bar with the letter U for each enemy sub sunk, and a ram's head for a ship sunk by ramming. Before the Seraph came to The Citadel, the British had used her for target practice. The Seraph artifacts arrived aboard U.S.S. Proteus of March 27, 1963. Both the U.S. and British flags fly from the monument since this British submarine was under the command or a U.S. Naval Officer for the Clark mission. It is the only shore installation in the U.S. allowed to fly the Royal Navy Ensign. This is specified in Queen's Regulations for the Royal Navy 9148 Flags to be Flown on Shore, Paragraph 1b White Ensign in Civil Locations with Naval Connections, which lists The Citadel at Charleston, South Carolina (memorial to HMS SERAPH) as one of the authorized locations.

Originally it was at the corner of Lee Avenue and the Avenue of Remembrance. From the periscope, one could see the Confederate flag on the water tower which has since been removed. In 1985, it was moved to its present location at the corner of the Avenue of Remembrance and Jenkins Avenue. This was necessary so Lee Avenue could be widened.

Two flags fly from flagstaffs at the Seraph Monument: the national flag of the United States and the British Navy white ensign. The main flag on a British warship is called an ensign. The ensign flown by HMS Seraph was a white flag bearing the red Cross of St. George, patron saint of England. The white flag with the red cross was the first English national flag, the red cross being associated with St. George since at least the twelfth century. In the upper left hand (or canton) of the ensign is the Union Jack. (Sources on the white ensign: The World Encyclopedia of Flags, pp. 88-90. REF CR101 .Z53 1999; Flags Through the Ages and Across the World, pp. 186-187. REF CR101 .S57 1975)

The monument is decorated with the heraldic badge of the vessel. In the British Royal Navy every ship is given an heraldic symbol, called a badge, bearing a picture that is usually related to its name, surrounded by a rope and topped by a "naval crown," i.e., a circlet decorated with three sterns of wooden ships and, between them, two masts with a square sail rigged on the yardarms. Since 1942 Royal Navy ships' badges have been circular. The Seraph's badge has a picture of a seraph angel. It is not certain whether the picture on display as part of the monument is the original badge of the vessel, or a replica. (Sources: Belvin Horres, "Seraph Memorial Recalls Exploits of British Vessel," News and Courier, May 29, 1964, Special Citadel Supplement, p. 8-E; text of memorandum posted next to the Jolly Roger inside the monument)

Royal Navy ships' badges are discussed in Boutell's Heraldry, revised by C. W. Scott-Giles (London: Frederick Warne & Co., 1958), pp. 160-161, 181, and plate XIV.

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