November 19, 2019
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You may not remember much of your World History class, but you probably at least remember the nations of Europe fought it out for a long time to see who was going to be Number One. For many years, their biggest way to fight it out was with their big navies. So, if a ship from England saw a ship from France, you could expect some fireworks. Of course, the way you knew what country a ship was from was that flag they flew from the top of the mast - their colors. When they would see a ship approaching on the horizon, they usually lowered their colors until they could see whether that other guy was a friend or an enemy. But occasionally there was a ship that approached those encounters in a radically different way. There were a few courageous captains who would give a simple six-word order to their crew, "Nail our colors to the mast!" But you could just hear the first mate saying, "Captain, that means we can't lower our colors, no matter what." To which the captain would say something like this. "That's right."