vessel used by the commanding officer of a group of naval ships

A flagship is the ship used by the officer who commanded a group of naval ships. The term comes from the custom of the commanding officer to fly a special flag to show he was present.

The HMS Victory flagship

Used in this way, "flagship" is normally a temporary name; the flagship is wherever the officer is flying his flag. However, admirals have always needed a special place; a meeting room large enough to hold all the captains of the fleet, and a place for the admiral's staff to make plans and draw up orders.

Over the years, the term "flagship" has been borrowed by other industries. These include broadcasting, automobiles, cell phones, and others to mean their core products or services.[1]


  1. "flagship brand". WebFinance, Inc. Archived from the original on 2015-02-26.