Attempting to understand US Navy Ensigns, Jacks, and Commision Pennants.

major bill

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Aug 25, 2012
I know US Navy ships flew three different US flags; the ensign, the jack, and the commission pendant. I know there were 14 different size Navy ensigns, 8 size jacks, and 8 different size commission pennants. What I am having difficulty understanding is the number of white stars on the commission pennants. The larger pennants had 13 white stars while the smaller size pennants had but 7 white stars. I assume the 13 white stars stood for the original 13 colonies, but why did the smaller pennants have 7 white stars? Was there some symbolism I am missing?
 

rebelatsea

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 30, 2013
Location
Kent ,England.
Hi Mark, The British Ensign became the Union flag after the Act of Union incorporating Ireland. The jack portion refers to it's use on a short pole (can't remember it's name offhand) mounted on the bowsprit of men o' war.
 

AndyHall

Colonel
Joined
Dec 13, 2011
I assume the 13 white stars stood for the original 13 colonies, but why did the smaller pennants have 7 white stars? Was there some symbolism I am missing?
I'm not aware of any specific symbolism relating to the seven stars; I think it was more a matter of 13 stars being too many as a practical matter for small boat pennants. There is a certain mystique about the number seven, though, and using an odd number of stars is aesthetically appealing.
 
Top