USS Constitution, under the command of Commodore William Bainbridge, defeated the British frigate HMS Java in December 1812 in its second victory of the War of 1812. In this letter, Bainbridge discusses a medal he received in honor of this victory. Bainbridge was dissatisfied with the design on the back, which showed HMS Java‘s flag flying. He asked that the flag instead be shown as lowered, to indicate the British ship had surrendered. What does the flying of Java‘s flag symbolize to Bainbridge and why would he want to change it?