Regulations mention a low curled brim, high domed object manufactured of canvas in 1886. Since then, it has been known as the Dixie Cup with fondness. As seen in this photo taken by sailors on board the USS Washington, the brim was originally worn significantly lower.

Wear Appropriately

A rounded crown and full stitch brim are required for the sailor hats, which must be constructed of white cotton twill. The lower front border must be worn squarely on the head, roughly 1 12 inches above the eyebrows, and not squashed, twisted, or rolled. Ownership marks need to be placed between the crown and the rear of the brim so they won’t be seen when the hat is flipped up. The Dixie Cup came to represent the Navy and was recognized as an iconic image by civilians and sailors.

The dark blue wool flat hats often had an embroidered headband with the name of the ship the wearer belonged to on the front of the brim. According to reports, the capability was discontinued in January 1941 to make it more difficult for enemies to determine which U.S. ships were in port. The U.S. Navy embroidered its logo instead of the ship names.

The History Behind The Dixie Cup

To protect the demanding working sailors from the intense sunshine in the summer, a white sennet straw hat was made legal in 1866. Eventually, a less expensive, more comfortable cotton cloth took the place of the canvas. The sailors who wore them preferred this choice since they could bend the cover to express their unique personalities while remaining within the rules. Although the precise year the name dixie cup was created is unknown, it is likely around when the well-known paper product made its public debut in the early 1900s. Since more than 130 years ago, the white military hat, known as a Dixie cup, has served as the main headwear for sailors in the United States Navy because of its uncanny similarity to the drinking cup.

The white service hat, also known as a squid lid, Cracker Jack cap, or plain cover, is now constructed from 100 percent cotton. It protects wearers from the sweltering heat at sea and, when worn correctly, functions as a practical flotation device. The white hat was created out of canvas and was worn in roughly its present shape in 1886 to take the place of straw hats used in the summer months. In the winter, a flat, black hat was still worn. Compared to its straw predecessor, the new headgear was pleasant, economical to create, and simple to clean and store. The Navy stated in 1973 that it would phase out the Dixie cup in favor of a combination cover as part of a uniform overhaul in the 1970s, only to find that Sailors and the general public had become very fond of the distinctive hat and were extremely outspoken in their lobbying for its restoration to the sea bag. The white military cap was subject to constant code changes in 2016, but the Navy mandated that female E1-E6 sailors wear it.


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