by Web on January 15, 2016
When the U.S.S. Jackson was commissioned in December 2015 in Gulfport, Jennifer Lewton-Yates marveled every time she saw the ship’s crest – and with good reason.
Lewton-Yates, instructor of Classics at Millsaps College, was responsible for ensuring the correct translation for the Latin inscription on the ship’s crest.
In 2013, Lewton-Yates noticed that the initial Latin inscription on the ship’s crest was incorrect after it was unveiled in a ceremony in Jackson. She brought the incorrect text into her Latin III class to use as an exercise with the students, and at their urging, notified the Navy using the comment box on its website.
A media operations officer responded to her comment, asked her for advice, and Lewton-Yates informed the officer that the Latin inscription, Victoribus Spolia, was needed to express “to the victor go the spoils.”
At the commissioning ceremony, Lewton-Yates realized how widely the crest is used.
“There were huge banners with Victoribus Spolia and the crest on the gangplank, and everyone at the commissioning was given a glossy program with the motto on the cover. It was also in several places inside the ship as well as on the sailors’ hats, commemorative coins, and t-shirts.” she said.
“It’s nice to know that as the U.S.S. Jackson takes this city’s name on a tour around the globe for the next 30 some years she won’t be taking incorrect Latin with her.”