commission that has no flag officer or other unit
commander embarked. The pennant is flown at the
after truck or, on a mastless ship, at the highest and
most conspicuous point of hoist.
Although the commission pennant is not a
personal pennant, it is sometimes regarded as the
personal symbol of the commanding officer. Along
with the ensign and union jack, it is half-masted upon
the death of the commanding officer. It remains at
half-mast until sunset of the day of the funeral or until
the body is removed from the ship.
DRESSING AND FULL-DRESSING
LEARNING OBJECTIVE: Explain procedures
for dressing and full-dressing ship. Explain
actions to be carried out when dressing and
full-dressing in port, under way, when
half-masting, and dipping.
When dressing or full-dressing ship, the largest
national ensign with which the ship is furnished is
displayed from the flagstaff and, except as prescribed
for a ship displaying a personal flag or command
pennant, a national ensign is displayed from each
masthead. The national ensigns displayed at the
mastheads should be of uniform size but smaller than
the one at the flagstaff. If there is a substantial
difference in heights of mastheads, however, a
difference in the size of the national ensigns is
When the ship is full-dressed, mastheads are
dressed as described in the preceding paragraph, In
addition, a rainbow of signal flags is displayed,
reaching from the foot of the jackstaff to the
mastheads, then to the foot of the flagstaff. Peculiarly
masted or mastless ships make a display as little
modified from the rainbow effect as possible. The
rainbow is displayed in the order prescribed in NTP
Ships not under way are dressed or full-dressed
from 0800 until sunset. Ships under way are not
dressed or full-dressed. Ships operated by the Military
Sealift Command (MSC) are not required to be
full-dressed, but will dress ship when full-dress is
specified and on all occasions of dress ship.
Ships are full-dressed on the third Monday of
February (President's Day) and the Fourth of July
(Independence Day). When the Fourth of July falls on
a Sunday, ceremonies are conducted the following
day. Ships are dressed on the remaining national
holidays. Ships may be full-dressed or dressed at such
other times as may be prescribed.
When dressing or full-dressing ship in honor of a
foreign nation, the national ensign of that nation
replaces the United States national ensign at the main,
or the masthead in a single-masted ship.
Should the occasion arise whereby the ensign is to
be half-masted or dipped during dress or full-dress
ship, only the national ensign at the flagstaff is
half-masted or dipped.
When full-dressing is prescribed, the senior
officer present may direct that dressing be substituted
if the state of the weather makes such action advisable.
The senior officer present may also exempt ships
undergoing shipyard and/or repairs from dress or
Only clean flags should be used in full-dressing
ship. On large ships, more than one set of flags may
be needed to fill all the dressing lines. Flags should be
stopped to the dressing lines the day before the ship is
to be full-dressed, otherwise something unforeseen
might develop and the dressing lines would not be
ready for hoisting at 0800.
The ensigns, jack, and rainbow of flags should be
hoisted smartly at 0800. At evening colors, all ensigns
and the jack should be lowered ceremoniously. The
rainbow of flags should be lowered quickly.
LEARNING OBJECTIVES: Explain the procedures
for conducting colors ceremony and sunrise.
The ceremonial hoisting and lowering of the
national flag at 0800 and sunset at commands ashore
and aboard ships of the Navy not under way is known
as morning and evening colors. The guard of the day
and the band, if available, are in the vicinity of the
point of hoist.
Aboard Navy ships or naval shore activities on all
occasions of hoisting and lowering or half-masting the
national ensign, the motions of the senior officer
present are to be followed. Five minutes before
morning and evening colors, at first call, the
PREPARATIVE pennant is hoisted. Ceremonies for
colors begin when the pennant is hauled to the dip.