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04-29-2010, 09:56 AM   #1
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If there was a Flagship for the entire US Navy, which vessel would it be?

what would one look for in such a vessel?

04-29-2010, 10:07 AM - 1 Like   #2
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04-29-2010, 10:12 AM   #3
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^^ I would choose the Enterprise, but not that Enterprise.
04-29-2010, 10:40 AM - 1 Like   #4
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I believe the USS Constitution holds that ceremonial honor.

04-29-2010, 10:43 AM - 2 Likes   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Reportage Quote
what would one look for in such a vessel?
When speaking of a naval ship, the meaning of flagship is precise and is not the same as the usage as the word when NOT talking about naval ships. The common useage is derived from the more precise meaning, and bears a resemblance to the more precise meaning, as by analogy. The analogy, specifically, is more in line with the historical outward appearance of a flagship in the 18th/19th centuries.

A flagship is associated with a fleet or squadron commander. Usually this is a "flag" officer. There is a flag associated with the officer/commander and the flag can be transferred to another ship at which point that ship becomes the flagship.

So, for example: "When Yorktown was struck at Midway... Fletcher transferred his flag to the cruiser Astoria and placed Spruance tactically in charge."

It is, in its nature a temporary designation. The duration may be relatively long, but it is temporary as the flag follows the officer.

I think the senior flag officer in the USN is Chief of Naval Operations. Here is his flag:



Admiral Gary Roughead, USN is the 29th and current Chief of Naval Operations. I do not think he has a designated flagship, but I suppose that under certain circumstances once could be designated.

What would one look for in such a vessel? Putting aside the difficulties raised above, generally the criteria for flagships have evolved.

In the age of sailing ships, the flagship was typically a first-rate... First Rate was the designation used by the Royal Navy for its largest ships of the line. While the size and establishment of guns and men altered over the 250 years that the Rating system held sway, from the early Georgian period the First Rate comprised those ships mounting 100 guns or more on three gundecks.[1] In the Nelsonic period, First Rate vessels carried over 800 crew and displaced in excess of 2,000 tons. (cf: Wikipedia)

In the 20th century, ships became large enough that most types could accommodate commander and staff, and during World War II admirals would often prefer a faster ship over the largest one. Some larger ships may have a separate flag bridge for use by the admiral and his staff while the captain commanded from the main navigation bridge.

Because its primary function is to coordinate a fleet, flagships are not necessarily more heavily armed or fortified than other ships. Increasing communications and computing requirements have resulted in the design of specialized command and control ships to serve as flagship. (cf: Wikipedia)

On this latter point, see this article: USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

That smallish ship is the flag ship of the United States 7th Fleet. Not exactly what you would expect. Clearly there has been an evolution here...



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04-29-2010, 10:47 AM   #6
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In the common usage of the term, I would say the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan.
04-29-2010, 10:51 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
I believe the USS Constitution holds that ceremonial honor.
I believe that is the case, and as it should be.
04-29-2010, 10:56 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by VaughnA Quote
I believe that is the case, and as it should be.
I thought the Enterprise A was the flagship for a while.

04-29-2010, 10:57 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Parallax Quote
In the common usage of the term, I would say the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan.
That's not following Navy protocol as Woof pointed out. However, for a ceremonial flagship, it would be a tough call between "Old Ironsides" and the USS Missouri for historical reasons.
04-29-2010, 10:57 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jct us101 Quote
I thought the Enterprise A was the flagship for a while.
You realize there is more than 1 don't you?

USS Wasp- 2nd fleet

USS Mount Whitney- 6th fleet

USS Blue Ridge- 7th Fleet



Last edited by Blue; 04-29-2010 at 11:04 AM.
04-29-2010, 11:02 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
That's not following Navy protocol as Woof pointed out. ..........
That's why I prefaced it with "In common usage". I agree with the Missouri though.
04-29-2010, 11:03 AM   #12
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Flagship

Its whatever ship the Flag officer is riding on. There's not a designated ship just for that flag officer. However, they do pick the cool ones. Most likely will be a carrier group and the flag will reside on the carrier, but not always. I served on 5 ships in my Naval career, never had a flag officer reside, but of course, I'm a tin can sailor.
04-29-2010, 11:17 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gene Temple Quote
Its whatever ship the Flag officer is riding on. There's not a designated ship just for that flag officer. However, they do pick the cool ones. Most likely will be a carrier group and the flag will reside on the carrier, but not always. I served on 5 ships in my Naval career, never had a flag officer reside, but of course, I'm a tin can sailor.
Gene, the ships I listed above are active USN flag ships which means the fleet officer's head quarters are there.
04-30-2010, 10:53 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
I believe the USS Constitution holds that ceremonial honor.
With all due respect, technically I am not sure this IS true. I believe she WAS the flagship of whatever the last fleet to which she was last attached, and I know that she is still commissioned, BUT, I am not sure that she really is a flagship now, ceremonial or not.

This is not a challenge. My heart is certainly in the proposition. My head cannot find proof. The only reference to USS Constitution as a (let alone THE) ceremonial flagship is some Star Trek material.

I believe that technically, USS Constitution is our Ship of State. Not the same thing. Typically a ship of state may well be a "flagship" in the common sense of an Ocean Liner that is a Ship of State (Queen Mary was a Ship of State and certainly was a "flagship" in the common sense). However, USS Constitution is a COMMISSIONED and active military ship, and I would argue that if she is not a flagship the strict Naval sense.

See: USS Constitution Designated America's Ship of State



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04-30-2010, 11:23 AM - 1 Like   #15
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