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US Navy 19th Century Command Flags (U.S.)

Last modified: 2019-08-04 by rick wyatt
Keywords: united states | command flags |
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Overview

The US Navy in the beginning did not have the rank of Admiral. The US Navy's highest rank was that of Captain. However, if an entire squadron of ships was assembled, the senior ranking Captain was given the title of Commodore, while the second ranking Captain was designated First Subordinate, and the third ranking Captain was designated Second Subordinate.

The senior Captain as Commodore would fly a blue broad pennant or command flag usually embellished with a number of white stars corresponding to how many US states there were at the time, while the first, and second subordinates flew, in order, a red, white starred broad pennant or command flag, and a white broad pennant or command flag with red stars.

At the moment, that is as much as I am going to comment on the subject, because there are far greater US Navy flag experts among us who will present clarity on the practice.

Meanwhile, I post three flags for every represented US flag from 13 stars through 31 stars. Some of these flags will have constellations of stars that we know were made and flown in history, while others will be the product of my imagination, as I try to pretend being a 19th Century US Navy Herald with the responsibility of drawing broad pennants and command flags. If any of you have images of any of these flags, I would love to see them, as it will allow me to make historically accurate modifications where I can.
Clay Moss, 10 June 2019


13 star set

Senior Captain
[U.S. Naval Command flag] image by Clay Moss, 10 June 2019

First Subordinate
[U.S. Naval Command flag] image by Clay Moss, 10 June 2019

Second Subordinate
[U.S. Naval Command flag] image by Clay Moss, 10 June 2019


15 star set

For all three flags, I used the star arrangement from Fort McHenry's famous Star Spangled Banner. The 15 star US flag served the United States from 1795 to 1818.
Clay Moss, 13 June 2019

Senior Captain
[U.S. Naval Command flag] image by Clay Moss, 13 June 2019

First Subordinate
[U.S. Naval Command flag] image by Clay Moss, 13 June 2019

Second Subordinate
[U.S. Naval Command flag] image by Clay Moss, 13 June 2019


20 star set

For the blue or Senior Command flag, I have introduced the 20 star Great Star Flag pattern. For the other two flags, I used my imagination.
The 20 star US flag served the United States from 1818 to 1819.
Clay Moss, 27 June 2019

Senior Captain
[U.S. Naval Command flag] image by Clay Moss, 27 June 2019

First Subordinate
[U.S. Naval Command flag] image by Clay Moss, 27 June 2019

Second Subordinate
[U.S. Naval Command flag] image by Clay Moss, 27 June 2019


21 star set

Three US Navy Command flags that might have been flown from July 4, 1819 to July 3, 1820.
Clay Moss, 3 July 2019

Senior Captain
[U.S. Naval Command flag] image by Clay Moss, 3 July 2019

First Subordinate
[U.S. Naval Command flag] image by Clay Moss, 3 July 2019

Second Subordinate
[U.S. Naval Command flag] image by Clay Moss, 3 July 2019


23 star set

The 23 star US Navy Command flag set. These particular flags would have been used from July 4, 1820 to July 3, 1822.
Clay Moss, 6 July 2019

Senior Captain
[U.S. Naval Command flag] image by Clay Moss, 6 July 2019

First Subordinate
[U.S. Naval Command flag] image by Clay Moss, 6 July 2019

Second Subordinate
[U.S. Naval Command flag] image by Clay Moss, 6 July 2019


24 star set

These 24 star flags would have been used from July 4, 1822 to July 3, 1836. The 24 Star US flag ranks 5th over all in terms of US flag longevity. The 24 star US Navy Command flag set ranks 3rd over all in terms of early/mid 19th Century Command flag longevity.
Clay Moss, 6 July 2019

Senior Captain
[U.S. Naval Command flag] image by Clay Moss, 6 July 2019

First Subordinate
[U.S. Naval Command flag] image by Clay Moss, 6 July 2019

Second Subordinate
[U.S. Naval Command flag] image by Clay Moss, 6 July 2019


25 star set

These 25 star flags would have been used from July 4, 1836 to July 3, 1837 due to the admission of Arkansas to the union.
Clay Moss, 9 July 2019

Senior Captain
[U.S. Naval Command flag] image by Clay Moss, 9 July 2019

First Subordinate
[U.S. Naval Command flag] image by Clay Moss, 9 July 2019

Second Subordinate
[U.S. Naval Command flag] image by Clay Moss, 9 July 2019


26 star set

These 26 star flags would have been used from July 4, 1837 to July 3, 1845.
Clay Moss, 10 July 2019

Senior Captain
[U.S. Naval Command flag] image by Clay Moss, 10 July 2019

First Subordinate
[U.S. Naval Command flag] image by Clay Moss, 10 July 2019

Second Subordinate
[U.S. Naval Command flag] image by Clay Moss, 10 July 2019


27 star set

Here are my ideas for what the 27 star US Navy Command flag set might have looked like. These particular flags would have been used from July 4, 1845 to July 3, 1846. The 27th star represented the State of Florida.
Clay Moss, 11 July 2019

Senior Captain
[U.S. Naval Command flag] image by Clay Moss, 11 July 2019

First Subordinate
[U.S. Naval Command flag] image by Clay Moss, 11 July 2019

Second Subordinate
[U.S. Naval Command flag] image by Clay Moss, 11 July 2019


 
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