Win a ride aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Eagle for your essay or art

Post written by Petty Officer 1st Class Nathan Henise.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Coast Guard announced Friday its partnership with the Navy and Operation Sail, Inc., for “The Star-Spangled Banner” and War of 1812 essay and art contest, part of this year’s commemoration of the War of 1812 and the writing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Winners of the contest will be invited to sail aboard America’s tall ship, the Coast Guard Cutter Eagle, during one of the six, planned OpSail 2012 events.

The essay contest requires entrants to submit a 1,000-word essay on one of three topics:

· The role of the USS Constitution and the Navy in the War of 1812
· What “The Star-Spangled Banner” means to me
· The role of the Revenue Cutter Service in the War of 1812

The art contest requires entrants to submit a copy of their original watercolor, oil or pencil artwork, depicting one of three topics:

· What “The Star-Spangled Banner” means to me
· A maritime scene from the War of 1812
· A Revenue Cutter in action during the War of 1812

Notable events and missions of the Revenue Cutter Service during the war include:

· Norfolk-based cutter Thomas Jefferson seizes the British schooner Patriot, the first maritime capture of the war
· Revenue Cutter Vigilant captures British privateer Dart
· Boston-based cutter Massachusetts is dispatched to Passamaquoddy area of Maine to stop smuggling of British goods and supplies
· Revenue Cutter Active detains the cartel ship Fair American bound for England
· Revenue Cutter Thomas Jefferson helps capture three Royal Navy Barges
· Crew of the Revenue Cutter General Greene rescues crew of capsized brig Rattlesnake
· Revenue Cutter James Madison captures the 300–ton British brig Shamrock which carried a cargo of arms and ammunition
· Revenue Cutter Gallatin captures the British brig General Blake
· Revenue Cutter James Madison attacks the HMS Barbadoes and its convoy
· Revenue Cutter Surveyor is captured by the HMS Narcissus after a heated battle

 “It’s an honor for Eagle’s officers and crew to both celebrate and increase public awareness of our nation’s history,” said Capt. Eric Jones, the commanding officer of the Coast Guard Cutter Eagle.  “The fledgling U.S. Navy along with the U.S. Revenue Marine, the predecessor of today’s Coast Guard, “cut their teeth” in engagements with the Royal navy during the War of 1812.  We hope that Eagle’s appearance in ports along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts this summer will inspire students to reflect upon the significance of this oft-forgotten conflict.” 

One prize will be awarded in each of the OpSail 2012 event cities of New Orleans, New York, Norfolk, Va., Baltimore, Boston and New London, Conn.  Entrants must name the one port for which their work is competing.  Deadlines vary by port city – full rules and deadlines for the contest can be found online at and questions regarding contest rules should be directed to  The six OpSail events are part of the nation’s commemoration of the War of 1812 bicentennial.  

The Coast Guard Cutter Eagle was taken from Nazi Germany by the United States as a war prize after World War II and has been homeported at the Coast Guard Academy in New London ever since.  As America’s only active-duty, square-rigger, sailing ship, the Barque Eagle offers future Coast Guard officers the opportunity to put into practice the navigation, engineering and other professional theories they have learned in the classroom.

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