A broad pennant is a triangular swallow-tailed naval pennant flown from the masthead of a warship afloat or a naval headquarters ashore to indicate the presence of a Royal Navy officer in the rank of Commodore or a U.S. Navy Captain serving in a designated Commodore command billet. It is so called as a broad pennant because its dimensions are roughly 2:3.
The U.S. Navy will also refer to this flag as a Commodore's "command pennant." In the U.S. Navy, the pennant will contain either numbers or letters indicating the command designation or name. For example, the pennant for the Commodore commanding Destroyer Squadron 25 (DESRON 25) will have the numeral "25" on the field of his or her command pennant. Likewise, the Commodore commanding Strike Fighter Wing Atlantic will have the letters "SFWL" or "CSFWL" on his or her pennant. This pennant is also used by the commander of a carrier air wing. A Burgee command pennant has been flown by commanders of smaller aircraft units such as groups or squadrons.
Starting in 1826 a Royal Navy commodore would fly one of two broad pennants depending on whether he had a captain for his ship (First Class Commodore), or also had to command it himself (Second Class). This difference was shown by a ball added to the pennant of the Second Class rank holder, as shown above. In 1958 the rank of First Class Commodore was terminated, after which only the broad pennant with a ball was used.
- King, Dean (2000). A Sea of Words (3 ed.). Henry Holt. p. 334. ISBN 978-0-8050-6615-9.
- "Navy - Command and Commissioning Pennants (U.S.)".
- "U.S. Navy Command Pennants and Flags".
- United Kingdom: Royal Navy rank flags
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