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Pennants and Boomerangs 
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In another thread, I expounded upon two of the callouts in a Fiftieth Annniversary illustration of a Kiaga-class patrol ship. On that drawing, I identified the long pennant as a "commissioning pennant" and the short pennant as a "jack". This was meant to follow naval custom, where a ship commanded by an officer given a commission, would fly a long pennant signifying such. The ship would also fly the flag designating the naval vessel a sovereign part of the country it serves- the jack. I think Matt Jefferies may actually have been thinking of these customs when he decorated the models the way he did, as they are very much a visual part of the "Age of Sail" they were, to some degree, trying to evoke.

Today I stumbled upon the Wikipedia article on commissioning pennants and saw this-

Quote:
"Paying Off Pennants

It is the custom in many navies for a ship which is "paying off" to wear an extremely long commissioning pennant, which is normally at least the length of the ship, and the length of which reflects the length of service. This is in contrast to the modern practice of using pennants of not more than one or one-and-a-half metres for convenience.

Formerly a ship "paid off" each time she returned home after a commission overseas: the term refers to the fact that sailors were not paid until the ship returned home, to avoid desertion. The bible of Royal Navy traditions and slang, Covey Crump, emphasises:

"It should be borne in mind that the commission referred to is the length of time the ship's company has been abroad, not the ship herself: when a ship recommissions abroad a fresh commission is started; thus a commission of longer than 2¾ years is exceptional."
This custom is maintained in the United States Navy, where the paying-off pennant is known as the "homeward-bound pennant". Nevertheless, present usage in the Royal Navy has degenerated to using paying-off pennants only as part of a ship's decommissioning ceremony."


In other words, the ship went out on a long, multi-year voyage, and its crew wasn't paid until it got home. The length of its commissiining pennant was made to reflect the length of its voyage. This really seals it for me. Jefferies was thinking about this stuff.

We still have the boomerang, however. It isn't on the uniform, it is on the walls of official installations, and we know it was meant to be the symbol of Starfleet while the delta was a originally envisioned as a special "starship" designator, ie all the 5YM ships' crews were supposed to have worn those deltas and it was a mistake by Theiss that led to unique patches for the different ships.

Thus, in the graphic vocabulary of TOS, we might think of the boomerang as a roundel on a military aircraft. It is the aircraft equivalent of the jack and pennant- designating the national origin of the aircraft.

It is interesting that when Jefferies had the shuttlecraft painted, the hull pennant was given the boomerang. The nacelle pennant was not. I think this was his way of saying that the shuttle was not a commissioned craft. It was subsidiary to a commissioned craft.

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24 May 2017 12:07
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Too much. Brain full. Very interesting.

I've seen Trekkies react rather violently to the notion that the Exeter and Constellation insignia were a mistake.

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26 May 2017 11:07
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For a long time I have thought it did not make sense to have one patch on the uniform and a completely different symbol on the ship. It was mitigated somewhat if every ship had its own patch. But its a bit hard to figure out why the whole fleet use the boomerang but some use the delta and the government uses that swallowtail pennant and those flags in the briefing room look like none of the symbols or colors at all.

You get the feeling it was merely a TV show and they were just decorating the sets.

Oh, wait...

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"The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others."
-Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia Query XVII, 1783

"...here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it." -Thomas Jefferson, 1820


26 May 2017 12:27
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aridas wrote:
You get the feeling it was merely a TV show and they were just decorating the sets.

Oh, wait...


Historical DOCUMENTS.

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30 May 2017 15:23
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wait... i don't have a Thermian avatar for that... ; )

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30 May 2017 18:20
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