A flagship is a vessel used by the commanding officer of a group of naval ships, characteristically a flag officer entitled by custom to fly a distinguishing flag. Used more loosely, it is the lead ship in a fleet of vessels, typically the first, largest, fastest, most heavily armed, or best known.

Over the years, the term "flagship" has become a metaphor used in industries such as broadcasting, automobiles, technology, airlines, and retail to refer to their highest profile or most expensive products and locations.

HMS Victory 1884
HMS Victory, flagship of the First Sea Lord of the Royal Navy

Naval use

In common naval use, the term flagship is fundamentally a temporary designation; the flagship is wherever the admiral's flag is being flown. However, admirals have always needed additional facilities, including 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. Historically, only larger ships could accommodate such requirements.

The term was also used by commercial fleets, when the distinction between a nation's navy and merchant fleet was not clear. An example was Sea Venture, flagship of the fleet of the Virginia Company, which was captained by Royal Navy Vice-Admiral Christopher Newport yet bore the Merchant Navy admiral of the company's fleet, Sir George Somers, during the ill-fated Third Supply of 1609.

In the age of sailing ships, the flagship was typically a first rate; the aft of one of the three decks would become the admiral's quarters and staff offices. This can be seen on HMS Victory, the flagship of Admiral Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, still serving the Royal Navy as the ceremonial flagship of the First Sea Lord from Portsmouth, England. Non-first rates could serve as flagships, however: USS Constitution, a frigate (a fifth rate), served as flagship for parts of the United States Navy during the early 19th century.

In the 20th century, ships became large enough that the larger types, cruisers and up, could accommodate a commander and staff. Some larger ships may have a separate flag bridge for use by the admiral and his staff while the captain commands from the main navigation bridge. Because its primary function is to coordinate a fleet, a flagship is not necessarily more heavily armed or armored than other ships. During World War II admirals often preferred a faster ship over the largest one.

Modern flagships are designed primarily for command and control rather than for fighting, and are also known as command ships.

Flagship as metaphor

As with many other naval terms, flagship has crossed over into general usage, where it means the most important or leading member of a group, as in the flagship station of a broadcast network. Is used as both a noun and adjective describing the most prominent or highly touted product, brand, location, or service offered by a company. Derivations include the "flagship brand" or "flagship product" of a manufacturing company, "flagship store" of a retail chain, or "flagship service" of a hospitality or transportation concern.

The term "flagship" may have specific applications:

  • Auto companies may have a flagship in the form of their leading or highest-priced car.
  • Electronics companies may have a series of products considered to be their flagship, usually consisting of one or two products that is updated periodically. For example, the Samsung Galaxy S series consists of several flagship smartphones that are released on a yearly basis.
  • In rail transport, a "flagship service" is either the fastest or most luxurious. Often it is also a named train or service.

Colleges and universities in the United States

Most states in the United States provide public university education through one or more university systems. The phrase flagship institution or flagship university may be applied to an individual school or campus within each state system. The College Board, for example, defines flagship universities as the best-known institutions in the state, noting that they were generally the first to be established and are frequently the largest and most selective, as well as the most research-intensive public universities.[1][2][3] These schools are often land-grant, sea-grant, or space-grant research universities.[4] According to Robert M. Berdahl, then-chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley, the phrase "flagship" came into existence in the 1950s when the Morrill Act schools were joined by newer institutions built in a wave of post-war expansion of state university systems.[5]

Berdahl notes further that because flagships are generally the oldest schools within a system, they are often the largest and best financed and are perceived as elite relative to non-flagship state schools.[5] He comments that "Those of us in 'systems' of higher education are frequently actively discouraged from using the term 'flagship' to refer to our campuses because it is seen as hurtful to the self-esteem of colleagues at other institutions in our systems. The use of the term is seen by some as elitist and boastful. It is viewed by many, in the context of the politics of higher education, as 'politically incorrect.' ... Only in the safe company of alumni is one permitted to use the term."[5] Additionally, the term flagship is widely understood to encompass only public (state-supported) universities, even in states which may contain more eminent private universities.

Nevertheless, the term "flagship university" is still used in official contexts by the U.S. Department of Education, various state university system boards of governors, and state legislatures.[6][7][8][9][10] Additionally, state universities often self-designate themselves as flagships.[11][12] Higher education agencies, research journals, and other organizations also use the term, though their lists of flagship universities can differ greatly. One list of 50 flagship universities (one per state) is employed by the Higher Education Coordinating Board,[13] the College Board,[2][3] the Princeton Review[14] and many other state and federal educational and governmental authorities[15] for a variety of purposes including tuition and rate comparisons,[1][16][17] research studies[18][19][20][21] and public policy analyses.[22][23][24][25]

Despite its ubiquity, this list of 50 flagships is not the only state-by-state examination of flagships. In a 2010 article, Standard & Poor's created its own list of flagship universities, noting that each state had typically one or two institutions with flagship characteristics.[26] The Education Sector, an education policy organization, used a different list of 51 flagship universities in an August 2011 study of college debt. Several states had multiple universities categorized as flagships due to "less of a clear distinction between a single flagship and other public universities" in those states.[27] Additionally, several states were not included in the study due to insufficient comparative data.[27] There are many instances in which more than one school in a state has claimed to be, or has been described as, a "flagship".[28][29][30][31][32][33][34][35][36]

In February 2012, Idaho's State Board of Education made a controversial decision to strike the word "flagship" from the University of Idaho's mission statement.[37] The Board's President Richard Westerberg explained that this revision was made as part of the board's many changes made to multiple Idaho universities' mission statements in an effort to ensure all statements were consistent and collegial in nature rather than comparative or competitive.[38]


Flagship stores are core stores for brand name retailers, larger than their standard outlets and stocking greater inventory, often found in prominent shopping districts such as Fifth Avenue in New York, Oxford Street in London or Tokyo's Ginza.[39]

Flagships are prevalent among upscale retailers, such as Apple, Louis Vuitton, and Prada.


A flagship station is the principal station of a (radio or TV) broadcast network. It can be the station that produces the largest amount of material for the network, or the station in the parent company's home city, or both. The term dates back to the mid twentieth century years of broadcasting when headquarters stations produced programs for their networks.

For example, the flagship stations of the ABC, NBC and CBS television and radio networks are their owned and operated outlets in New York City. Likewise, public television's WNET served as primary member station for National Educational Television (NET), a forerunner to the US Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).

In sports broadcasting, the "flagship" is a team's primary station in their home market, which produces game broadcasts and feeds them to affiliates. For example, WGN was the flagship station of the Chicago Cubs baseball team, which has an extensive Cubs radio network spanning several states.


The term flagship is also used to describe an automaker's top (i.e. largest and/or most expensive) vehicle. Modern examples include the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Toyota Avalon, Ford Taurus, and Range Rover.


Within conservation biology, the term flagship species refers to a species or taxon that is a symbol or rallying point to catalyze conservation actions.[40]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Pyblication" (PDF). www.nsf.gov. 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Tuition and Fees at Flagship Universities over Time - Trends in Higher Education". trends.collegeboard.org.
  3. ^ a b "2014-15 Tuition and Fees at Flagship Universities and Five-Year Percentage Change". trends.collegeboard.org. Archived from the original on 2015-10-17.
  4. ^ "Flagship universities must pursue excellence and access". University of Virginia. Archived from the original on 2012-10-01. Retrieved 2013-03-13.
  5. ^ a b c Berdahl, Robert (1998-10-08). "The Future of Flagship Universities". University of California, Berkeley. Archived from the original on 2011-02-07. Retrieved 2006-09-22.
  6. ^ "U.S. Department of Education". ed.gov. Retrieved 2013-04-02.
  7. ^ "Toolkit" (PDF). www.ed.gov.
  8. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-05-25. Retrieved 2013-03-25.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "Journal" (PDF). www.ilga.gov.
  10. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-05-08. Retrieved 2013-03-25.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ David K. Scott (2001). "Strategic Action FY'97 - FY'01 III. A Vision of the Future: Reinventing the Dream". University of Massachusetts Amherst, Office of the Chancellor. Retrieved 2006-09-22.
  12. ^ Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr, President, University of Maryland, College Park (2006). "Testimony to the Maryland General Assembly". Archived from the original on 2006-09-01. Retrieved 2006-09-22.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  13. ^ "Final report" (PDF). www.wsac.wa.gov. 2009.
  14. ^ Eric Owens, Esq; Review, Princeton (2004-03-01). "America's Best Value Colleges". ISBN 9780375763731.
  15. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-04-10. Retrieved 2015-04-08.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ [1] Archived 2007-11-07 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ "Infi" (PDF). www.wsac.wa.gov.
  18. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-05-02. Retrieved 2013-04-13.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  19. ^ "Which state university grads earn the most?". 2013-03-12. Retrieved 2014-09-21.
  20. ^ "Engines of Inequality: Diminishing Equity in the Nation's Premier Public Universities* - The Education Trust" (PDF).
  21. ^ "SCUP OpenID Server" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-09-21.
  22. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-06. Retrieved 2013-04-13.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  23. ^ Slater, Robert (1996). "The First Black Graduates of the Nation's 50 Flagship State Universities". The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education (13): 72–85. doi:10.2307/2963173. JSTOR 2963173.
  24. ^ Gerald, Danette S (2007). "Examining the Status of Equity in Undergraduate Enrollments for Black, Latino and Low-income Students at Public Four-year Universities and Flagship Campuses". ISBN 9780549453512.
  25. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-04-08.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  26. ^ "University data" (PDF). img.en25.com.
  27. ^ a b "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-06-16. Retrieved 2013-04-13.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  28. ^ "Florida". Archived from the original on 2006-05-23. Retrieved 2013-03-24.CS1 maint: Unfit url (link)
  29. ^ "Today in Tallahassee: Flagship universities will make reform pitches".
  30. ^ "Logical to make UH our next flagship university". www2.egr.uh.edu.
  31. ^ "Texas A&M University Facts - College Station". Texas A&M University. Archived from the original on 2011-09-18.
  32. ^ "Race in admissions: A tale of two flagship universities".
  33. ^ "Michigan". Archived from the original on 2006-09-09. Retrieved 2013-03-24.
  34. ^ "New York". Archived from the original on 2013-07-31.
  35. ^ "USATODAY.com - USA TODAY's 2006 College Tuition & Fees Survey". usatoday30.usatoday.com.
  36. ^ "Standing Out From the Crowd". 15 March 2012.
  37. ^ "University of Idaho no longer state's 'flagship'".
  38. ^ Idaho Archived 2013-04-11 at Archive.today
  39. ^ "Flagship Store". about.com. Retrieved 2013-03-13.
  40. ^ Maan Barua (2011). "Mobilizing Metaphors: the popular use of keystone, flagship and umbrella species concepts". Biodiversity and Conservation. 20: 1427–1440. doi:10.1007/s10531-011-0035-y. Retrieved 2011-09-22.

External links

  • Media related to Flagship at Wikimedia Commons
American Airlines

American Airlines, Inc. (AA) is a major American airline headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, within the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. It is the world's largest airline when measured by fleet size, revenue, scheduled passengers carried, scheduled passenger-kilometers flown, and number of destinations served. American, together with its regional partners, operates an extensive international and domestic network with almost 6,700 flights per day to nearly 350 destinations in more than 50 countries. American Airlines is a founding member of Oneworld alliance, the third largest airline alliance in the world. Regional service is operated by independent and subsidiary carriers under the brand name American Eagle.American and American Eagle operates out of ten hubs, with Dallas/Fort Worth being its largest; handling more than 200 million passengers annually with an average of more than 500,000 passengers daily. American operates its primary maintenance base in Tulsa in addition to the maintenance locations located at its hubs. As of 2017, the company employs nearly 130,000 people. Through the airline's parent company, American Airlines Group, it is publicly traded under NASDAQ: AAL with a market capitalization of about $25 billion as of 2017, and included in the S&P 500 index.

Bombay Dyeing

Bombay Dyeing & Mfg Company Limited (Bombay Dyeing) is the flagship company of the Wadia Group, engaged primarily in the business of Textiles. Bombay Dyeing is one of India's largest producers of textiles.Its current chairman is Nusli Wadia.

In March 2011, [Jeh Wadia] (36), the younger son of Nusli, was named the managing director of Wadia Group's flagship, Bombay Dyeing & Manufacturing Company, while the elder son, Ness (38) resigned from the post of joint MD of the company. Ratan Tata, the ex-chairman of Tata group was on the board of directors till 2013. He resigned and Cyrus Mistry took over.Bombay Dyeing was often in the news, apart from other things, for various controversies surrounding its tussle with the late Dhirubhai Ambani of Reliance Industries Limited and with Calcutta-based jute baron late Arun Bajoria.

Discovery Channel

Discovery Channel (known as The Discovery Channel from 1985 to 1995, and often referred to as simply Discovery) is an American pay television network and flagship channel owned by Discovery, Inc., a publicly traded company run by CEO David Zaslav. As of June 2012, Discovery Channel is the third most widely distributed subscription channel in the United States, behind TBS and The Weather Channel; it is available in 409 million households worldwide, through its U.S. flagship channel and its various owned or licensed television channels internationally.It initially provided documentary television programming focused primarily on popular science, technology, and history, but by the 2010s had expanded into reality television and pseudo-scientific entertainment. Programming on the flagship Discovery Channel in the U.S. is primarily focused on reality television series, such as speculative investigation (with shows such as MythBusters, Unsolved History, and Best Evidence), automobiles, and occupations (such as Dirty Jobs and Deadliest Catch); it also features documentaries specifically aimed at families and younger audiences.

A popular annual feature on the channel is Shark Week, which airs on Discovery during the summer months. Despite its popularity and success, the program has garnered criticism, especially from the scientific community, for being scientifically inaccurate.As of January 2016, Discovery Channel is available to approximately 94,456,000 pay television households in the United States.

Flagship (broadcasting)

In broadcasting, a flagship (also known as a flagship station) is the broadcast station which originates a television network, or a particular radio or television program that plays a key role in the branding of and consumer loyalty to a network or station. This includes both direct network feeds and broadcast syndication, but generally not backhauls. Not all networks or shows have a flagship station, as some originate from a dedicated radio or television studio.

The term derives from the naval custom where the commanding officer of a group of naval ships would fly a distinguishing flag. In common parlance, "flagship" is now used to mean the most important or leading member of a group, hence its various uses in broadcasting. The term is primarily used in TV and radio in the United States and Canada.

Flagship Entertainment

Flagship Entertainment is a film production company based in Hong Kong and a joint venture between WarnerMedia and a China Media Capital–led consortium established in 2015 that includes TVB.

Previously, Warner was in a joint venture, the production and distribution company Warner China Film HG, with state-owned China Film Group and Hengdian Group, owner of Hengdian World Studios from 2006 to 2009.

Flagship species

In conservation biology, a flagship species is a species chosen to raise support for biodiversity conservation in a given place or social context. Definitions have varied, but they have tended to focus on the strategic goals and the socio-economic nature of the concept, to support the marketing of a conservation effort. The species need to be popular, to work as symbols or icons, and to stimulate people to provide money or support.

Species selected since the idea was developed in 1980s include widely recognised and charismatic species like the black rhinoceros, the Bengal tiger, and the Asian elephant. More locally significant species like the Chesapeake blue crab and the Pemba flying fox have suited a cultural and social context.

Utilizing a flagship species has limitations. It can skew management and conservation priorities, which may conflict. Stakeholders may be negatively affected if the flagship species is lost. The use of a flagship may have limited effect, and the approach may not protect the species from extinction: all of the top ten charismatic groups of animal including tigers, lions, elephants and giraffes are endangered.

Fox Sports Radio

The Fox Sports Radio Network, based in Los Angeles, California, is a division of Premiere Networks in partnership with Fox Sports. With studios also in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Tampa, Phoenix, Tulsa, Cincinnati, and Las Vegas, the Fox Sports Radio Network can be heard on more than 400 stations, as well as FoxSports.com on MSN and iHeartRadio.

Clear Channel Communications sold its stake in Sirius XM Radio in the second quarter of fiscal year 2013. As a result, nine of Clear Channel's eleven XM Satellite Radio stations, including Fox Sports Radio, ceased broadcast over XM on October 18, 2013. Fox Sports Radio returned to the Sirius XM radio lineup on January 20, 2017.

As the network concentrates on sports news, highlights, analysis and opinion at any time of the week, many of its affiliates opt out to air their own local show or provide live coverage of play-by-play games. As a result, several shows that these affiliates simulcast may not be full-length.


Galaxian is a fixed shooter arcade game developed and released by Namco in 1979. It would be licensed out to Midway Games for manufacture and distribution in North America. In the game, the player controls a starship at the bottom of the screen as it must destroy the titular Galaxian aliens. Aliens will appear in a set formation towards the top of the screen and perform a dive-bomb towards whilst firing shots, in an effort to hit the player. Bonus points are awarded for destroying aliens in groups or by taking out enemies in mid-flight.

Galaxian was created as a response to the success of Space Invaders, released by Taito a year prior, which had a large impact on the video game industry and helped establish video games as a highly-profitable business. Development was headed by Kazunori Sawano, who prior to which produced electro-mechanical, shooting gallery games for Namco, and had programming done by Kōichi Tashiro. Galaxian was a surprise hit for Namco, and sold around 40,000 arcade units in North America by 1982. While not the first video game to introduce color, Galaxian had RGB color graphics integrated into animations and enemy explosions, as well as scrolling backgrounds and short jingles.

The game's success would lead to a number of sequels and ports being developed - Galaga, its most well-known followup, would go on to usurp the original in popularity and become a highly-popular title during the Golden age of arcade games. Galaxian was released on several home consoles and computers, including the Atari 2600, Atari 8-bit family, MSX and Nintendo Entertainment System, and would be included in numerous Namco video game compilations for home platforms.

Google Nexus

Google Nexus is a line of consumer electronic devices that run the Android operating system. Google manages the design, development, marketing, and support of these devices, but some development and all manufacturing are carried out by partnering with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). The line has also included tablets and streaming media players, though neither type of device is currently available. The most recent tablet was the Nexus 9 (made with HTC), and the most recent streaming media player the Nexus Player (made with Asus).

Devices in the Nexus line were considered Google's flagship Android products. They contain little to no manufacturer or wireless carrier modifications to Android (such as custom user interfaces), although devices sold through carriers may be SIM locked and may bear some extra branding. Nexus 6 devices sold through AT&T, for example, are SIM locked and feature a custom boot splash screen and a logo on the back of the device, despite having otherwise identical hardware to the unlocked variant. The Verizon Galaxy Nexus featured a Verizon logo on the back and received software updates at a slower pace than the unlocked variant, though it featured different hardware to accommodate Verizon's CDMA network. All Nexus devices feature an unlockable bootloader to allow further development and end-user modification. Nexus devices are often among the first Android devices to receive updates to the operating system.With the expansion of the Google Pixel product line in late 2016, Google stated that they "don’t want to close a door completely, but there is no plan right now to do more Nexus devices." In 2017, Google partnered with HMD Global in making new Nokia phones, which have been considered by some as a revival of Nexus.

List of ESPN Radio affiliates

This listing of radio stations that are branded as ESPN Radio is an incomplete sampling of major markets in 2011. The full list of "full-time" affiliates (not all of which are branded "ESPN Radio") can be found here .

Note: All stations with a blue check mark () are ESPN owned and operated stations

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) is the only major daily newspaper in the metropolitan area of Atlanta, Georgia, United States. It is the flagship publication of Cox Enterprises. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is the result of the merger between The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution. The two staffs were combined in 1982. Separate publication of the morning Constitution and afternoon Journal ended in 2001 in favor of a single morning paper under the Journal-Constitution name.The AJC has its headquarters in the Atlanta suburb of Dunwoody, Georgia. It is co-owned with television flagship WSB-TV and six radio stations, which are located separately in midtown Atlanta. Past issues of the newspaper are archived in the United States Library of Congress.

Titans Radio Network

The Titans Radio Network is the radio and television network of the National Football League's franchise in Nashville, Tennessee, the Tennessee Titans. The network consists of almost 70 AM and FM radio stations in Tennessee, along with nearby areas of Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, eastern Arkansas, and far southern Illinois.


The X-Men are a team of fictional superheroes appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by artist/co-writer Jack Kirby and writer Stan Lee, the characters first appeared in The X-Men #1 (September 1963) and formed one of the most recognizable and successful franchises of Marvel Comics, appearing in numerous books, television shows, films, and video games.

Most of the X-Men are mutants, a subspecies of humans who are born with superhuman abilities activated by the "X-Gene". The X-Men fight for peace and equality between normal humans and mutants in a world where anti-mutant bigotry is fierce and widespread. They are led by Charles Xavier, also known as Professor X, a powerful mutant telepath who can control and read minds. Their archenemy is Magneto, a powerful mutant with the ability to manipulate and control magnetic fields and is the leader of the Brotherhood of Mutants. Both have opposing views and philosophies regarding the relationship between mutants and humans. While the former works towards peace and understanding between mutants and humans, the latter views humans as a threat and believes in taking an aggressive approach against them, though he has found himself working alongside the X-Men from time to time.

Professor X is the founder of Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters at a location commonly called the X-Mansion, which recruits mutants from around the world. Located in Salem Center in Westchester County, New York, the X-Mansion is the home and training site of the X-Men. The founding five members of the X-Men who appear in The X-Men #1 (September 1963) are Angel (Archangel), Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, and Marvel Girl (Jean Grey); Professor X and Magneto also made their first appearances in The X-Men #1. Eventually more well known X-Men included Wolverine, Storm, Rogue, Nightcrawler, Colossus, Kitty Pryde, Havok, Polaris, and Banshee. Since then, dozens of mutants from various countries and diverse backgrounds, and even a number of non-mutants, have held membership as X-Men.

The X-Men has appeared in a wide variety of media outside of comic books, including a number of different animated television series and direct-to-video films. Most notably, the superhero team has been the predominant focus of the X-Men film series with each film drawing influences from the comic book storylines.

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