Commissioning Pennant

Commissioning of a Navy Ship

The commissioning ceremony marks the acceptance of a ship as a unit of the Operating Forces of the United States Navy. At the moment of breaking the commissioning pennant, USS FLASHER (SSN 613) became the responsibility of the Commanding Officer who, together with the ship's officers and men, had the duty of making and keeping her ready for any service required by our nation in peace or war.

The commissioning pennant is believed to date from the 17th century, when the Dutch were at war with the English. The Dutch Admiral TROMP hoisted a broom at his masthead to indicate his intention to sweep the English from the sea. This gesture was answered by the English admiral who hoisted a horse whip, indicating his intention to chastise the Dutch. The English were victorious and ever since, the narrow, or coach whip, pennant (symbolizing the original horse whip) has been adopted by all nations as the distinctive mark of a ship of war.
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