USS Constitution Sets Sail In Boston Harbor, First Time In Over A Year

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — The world's oldest commissioned naval vessel is welcoming aboard tours to the public.

For the first time in over a year, the U.S.S. Constitution went underway in Boston Harbor from Charlestown Navy Yard.

Old Ironsides fired a 21-gun salute on Friday morning which was visible from the Boston Harborwalk, Castle Island and Charlestown Navy Yard.

Commander John Benda told WBZ NewsRadio that he is "really excited" to finally set sail after "a long wait" with COVID-19 restrictions.

Benda and his crew raised a 15-star, 15-stripe flag during the reopening.

"This is the flag that would've been flown over the ship during the war of 1812, which is what we are most famous for; our three victories and the country's second war for independence against the British," Benda said.

The 15-star, 15-stripe flag was authorized in 1794 as part of the Flag Act.

The ship will reopen for tours Friday from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Active-duty sailors will provide free tours of the ship during their usual business hours on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Live streaming of the underway can be viewed from the U.S. Navy's Facebook. Another 17-gun salute is planned for the passing of the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Boston.

U.S.S. Constitution retired from active service in 1881 and opened its doors as a museum ship in 1907. When it is not at sea, it is normally docked at Pier 1 at one end of the Boston Freedom Trail.

WBZ NewsRadio's James Rojas (@JamesRojasWBZ) reports from the Boston Harbor:

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Written by Edyn Jensen

(Photo: James Rojas/WBZ NewsRadio)

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