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Navy - Admiral (U.S.)

Last modified: 2013-07-06 by rick wyatt
Keywords: united states | admiral | star | blue |
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[U.S. Navy Admiral flag]
Indoor/Parade version
image by Rick Wyatt, 27 September 1998
[U.S. Navy Admiral flag]
Outdoor version
image by Joseph McMillan, 9 September 1999
Unrestricted Line Officers' Flags


See also:


Unrestricted Line Officers

The admiral's flag, drawn from the specifications in NTP-13(B), is shown without fringe. These are flags as flown at sea (or from permanent flagpoles ashore); those with fringe are as displayed from flagstaffs. Only significant difference is proportions, absence of fringe, and relative size of stars to field, but since (unlike the other services) the Navy thinks of the shipboard flag as the basic pattern and the fancy one with fringe, etc., as the variant.

Sizes: 43 x 61.5 inches and 22 x 32 inches (image reflect larger size).

Display afloat: An admiral's flag takes the place of a warship's commission pennant at the truck of the aftermost mast (or at the loftiest hoist in a mastless ship) when:
    - the admiral is actually aboard the ship when it is underway
    - the admiral is either aboard or absent for a period of less than 72 hours when the ship is not under way.

If he/she is absent, the ship simultaneously flies the 1st substitute pennant of the International Marine Signal Code at the outboard halyard of the starboard main yardarm. If the admiral is absent for more than 72 hours, his flag is hauled down and replaced by another officer's flag or command pennant or a commission pennant.

An admiral's flag is also displayed in a the bow when he is embarked in a boat of his command or a boat assigned for his use. A fleet admiral's flag in this case is topped with a spread eagle finial, other flag officers' by a halberd.

Ashore, an admiral's flag is displayed at his headquarters at the right yardarm of a flagmast with crosstree or at the masthead of a flagmast with gaff. If the command has two separate flagpoles, it may be flown on the left hand pole with the national ensign on the right hand pole. NTP-13(B) precludes flying a personal flag from the same halyard as the national ensign.

Joseph McMillan, 9 September 1999


Restricted Line Officers

[U.S. Navy Admiral flag] image by Rick Wyatt, 27 September 1998
Supply, Medical, JAG Officers

To clarify, the white flag with blue stars is flown not only by Supply, Medical, and JAG Corps officers but by all officers not eligible for command at sea. That includes the various staff corps (Supply, Medical, Dental, Nurse, Medical Service, Chaplain, Civil Engineer, and Judge Advocate General) but also flag officers in the restricted line such as engineering duty officers, intelligence and cryptography specialists, and oceanographers. It may routinely be seen up to the three star level (for example, flown by the Surgeon General at the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery in Washington), although there have been a rare few instances of restricted line officers rising to four-star rank (Hyman Rickover was an engineering duty officer). But never aboard ship.
Joe McMillan, 14 June 1999