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History

USLHS EmblemUSLHS pennant

Roots from the U. S. Lighthouse Service

Up until 1939 when the USLHS merged into the USCG, the USLHS was its own service with its own fleet of tenders. Navy ships were grey, Coast Guard cutters were white and USLHS tenders were black. To help differentiate USLHS tenders from other black-hulled vessels, the USLHS installed bronze lighthouse emblems like the one pictured above on each side of the bow of their tenders and also flew the above pictured USLHS flag from their foremast. When the tenders became Coast Guard cutters in 1939, the Coast Guard ensign replaced the USLHS flag and the bow emblems were removed - a couple decades later, the Coast Guard "racing stripe" was applied to the bow of all cutters, including buoy tenders. The above pictured USLHS bow emblem, 22" by 14", is on display aboard JUNIPER and was cast from the original moldings used by the USLHS.

Today, sea-going buoy tenders are named after trees or shrubs, a naming convention started around the time of the Civil War by the USLHS. Immediately after the war, the USLHS acquired six former Navy small steam vessels. Four of the six were formerly of the Navy's "flowerpot fleet," so named since all vessels in the class were named after flowers or plants. The USLHS retained the names, and went on to name future tenders after flowers, plants, shrubs and trees. When the USLHS fleet merged into the Coast Guard, the color and names of the tenders remained the same, and these traditions continue to this day.

Last Modified 12/19/2014