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The Only US Navy Warship Authorized to Fly a Foreign Flag at Sea (U.S.)

Last modified: 2024-03-23 by rick wyatt
Keywords: united states | uss winston churchill |
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[USS Winston Churchill] image located by Bill Garrison, 10 November 2023

This article is not about some new variety of a British naval flag. Instead, it is a story about how U.S. military regulations impact the flying of foreign flags aboard U.S. ships. Here, specifically, how just one U.S. naval destroyer is allowed to fly the U.K. Royal Navy's White Ensign.

A ship's ensign is the largest flag flying aboard the vessel and denotes the nationality of the ship. When the USS Winston Churchill flies the Royal Navy's ensign, it is hoisted from the port side of the mast, with the American flag on the starboard side. During its normal operations, only the Stars and Stripes are raised.
Bill Garrison, 10 November 2023