Great Photos
from the Crew & Friends
of the U.S.S. Little Rock

Page last update: 30 April, 2019

The photo below is one of many special and unique photos that we've received from
the crew and friends of the U.S.S. Little Rock. Most have a story to tell, and that
story is related, as we received it. Feel free to provide feedback to us as you find appropriate.

"Dressing Ship"

On national holidays and on other special occasions US Navy ships often "dress ship" using International Code signal flags.
Typically the ship is dressed on these occasions only while at anchor or moored, and then from 0800 until evening colors.
"Dress Ship" flags are typically flown underway for the entire duration of a vessel's maiden and final voyages'
or when participating in an official marine parade.

DRESS SHIP - CL 92 (Photo #1)
(Exact location and date are unknown.)

CL 92 Full Dress Stbd View

DRESS SHIP - CL 92 (Photo #2)
(Exact location and date are unknown.)

CL 92 Full Dress - Bow View

DRESS SHIP CLG 4 (in Malta)

Malta - Full Dress

Dressing Ship
the fine print...

Protocol details for displaying flags, pennants, etc aboard U.S. Naval and U.S. Coast Guard vessels are found in the following document:

NTP 13 (B)   Aug 1986

Here are some pertinent parts:

                     AND FULL-DRESS SHIP

On occasions of dress and full-dress ship, the largest national ensign in the ships allowance shall be displayed from the flagstaff and....  the Union Jack is be displayed at the jack (bow) staff.

Section 701. PURPOSE

The purpose of dress and full-dress ship is to recognize U.S. and, upon official invitation, foreign national anniversaries or solemnities.   Display of the U.S. and foreign national ensigns at the mastheads during periods of dress and full-dress ship is explained in Chapter 6.


Ships not underway shall dress or full-dress from 0800 until sunset. Ships underway do not dress or full-dress.


On occasions of full-dress ship a rainbow of signal flags and pennants, arranged in the order prescribed herein, shall be displayed. The rainbow shall reach from the foot of the jack staff to the mastheads and thence to the foot of the flagstaff.


The sequence of signal flags and pennants for the rainbow display shall be as follows:

(1) Flag 3
(14) Pennant 9
(27) 2nd Sub
(40) Hotel
(53) Victor
(2) Flag 4
(15) Zulu
(28) Bravo
(41) Echo
(54) Golf
(3) Pennant 1
(16) Corpen
(29) Delta
(42) Emerg
(55) Starboard
(4) Sierra
(17) Flag 8
(30) Turn
(43) Lima
(56) India
(5) 1st Sub
(18) Uniform
(31) Flag 5
(44) Pennant 7
(57) Foxtrot
(6) Alfa
(19) Flag 6
(32) Station
(45) Flag 0
(58) Quebec
(7) Prep
(20) Xray
(33) Kilo
(46) Int
(59) Pennant 8
(8) Charlie
(21) Negat
(34) Pennant 6
(47) Div
(60) Yankee
(9) Mike
(22) Flag 2
(35) Whiskey
(48) Pennant 4
(61) Desig
(10) Speed
(23) Port
(36) Pennant 0
(49) Flag 9
(62) Flag 7
(11) Juliett
(24) November
(37) Flag 1
(50) 4th Sub
(63) Pennant 3
(12) Pennant 5
(25) Pennant 2
(38) Oscar
(51) Papa
(64) Squad
(13) Romeo (26) Tango (39) 3rd Sub (52) Form (65) Ans


          (1)   Flags shall be displayed from stem beginning with (1) Flag 3, then (2) Flag 4, then (3) Pennant 1, etc,

        (2)    If one set of flags does not complete the rainbow, repeat the sequence starting with Flag 3, Flag 4, etc.

          (3)   All flags and pennants in the allied flag bag are used except "Screen",  "Subdiv",  and "Group".

Alphabet Flags

Letter Flags

Numeral Flags

Numeral Flags

Special Flags and Pennants

Special Flags & Pennants

For those of you with a sharp eye, compare the flags and pennants displayed in the above photographs of CL 92 and
CLG 4 with the prescribed sequence given in  Section 705.  SEQUENCE OF SIGNAL FLAGS AND PENNANTS.
Were LITTLE ROCK'S Signalmen and Boatswains "Squared Away Bluejackets"? Or not?

USS Little Rock CLG 4 Stbd Flag Locker

CLG 4 Starboard Flag Locker

America's Tallships in Full Dress

U.S.S. Constitution at Boston Navy Yard
U.S.C.G.C. Eagle at Boston
USS Constitution

Both of America's Tall Ships in Full Dress while
in Boston, Massachusetts (dates uncertain).

On the left is the U.S.S. Constitution a.k.a. "Old Ironsides". She is 304' long and was  built in 1794  -1797. The Constitution is the world's oldest commissioned naval vessel afloat. She is scheduled to commence a 3-year overhaul in March 2015.

Above is the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Eagle (WIX-327), 295' long. She is a training ship for the U.S. Coast Guard and is the only active commissioned tallship in the U.S. military. She is a war prize, originally the Horst Wessel, a training vessel for the German Navy.

Sorting flags on Coast Guard's tallship Eagle

Flag Sorting USCGC Eagle

Above, on board the U.S. Coast Guard's tallship USCGC Eagle (circa 2000), Webmaster Art Tilley ET2 (USCGR)
helps three Coast Guard Academy cadets sort through flags and pennants in preparation for a Dress Ship event (New York City I think!)
So....  what is the flag/pennant that is being discussed by the guys, and where does it go in the sequence?

If you have a special photo that you would like to share, send it to Art Tilley,
along with whatever you can tell us about the story behind the photo".

Back To "History & Facts" Page

Back to Home Page