U.S. Navy Burgee Command Pennant - U.S.S. SHIRK

Sub-collection: U.S. Naval

U.S.S. Shirk, U.S. Navy Burgee Command Pennant, 1919-1930
The broad command pennant is flown in lieu of the commission pennant by commanders of squadrons of ships or aircraft wings who are not flag officers. The burgee command pennant is used the same as the broad pennant, but by commanders of divisions of ships or other craft or major subdivisions of aircraft wings.

The command pennant is used in all respects the same as an admiral's flag. It is broken aboard the commodore's flagship at the same points of hoist as an admiral's flag, carried at the bow of a boat in which he is embarked, emblazoned on his social letterhead, displayed on a staff in his office, and, if he should die in command, halfmasted aboard his flagship and carried before his casket in the funeral ceremony. The pennant is white with red borders along the upper and lower edges and the number of the unit in red numerals on the center.

This flag was found in an Army/Navy surplus store in 1988. It is in good codition and is displayable. Circa 1920s. The following is a history of the ship from which this flag came from.


Displacement 1,215 Tons, Dimensions, 314' 5" (oa) x 31' 8" x 9' 10" (Max)
Armament 4 x 4"/50, 1 x 3"/23AA, 12 x 21" tt..
Machinery, 26,500 SHP; Geared Turbines, 2 screws
Speed, 35 Knots, Crew 114
Operational and Building Data
Laid down by Bethlehem Steel, San Francisco February 13 1919.

Launched June 20 1919 and commissioned February 5 1921.
Decommissioned February 8 1930.

Stricken July 22 1930.
Fate Sold and broken up for scrap in 1931


(DD-318: dp. 1,215, 1. 314'4 1/2"; b. 30'11 1/2" dr. 9'4" s. 33.3 k.; cpl. 122; a. 4 4", 1 3", 12 2i" tt.; cl.Clemson)
Shirk (DD-318) was laid down on 13 February 1919 by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp., San Francisco Calif.; launched on 20 June 1919, sponsored by Miss Ida Lawlor Dunnigan; and commissioned on 5 February 1921, Lt. Comdr. G. M. Ravenscroft in command.
Shirk arrived in her home port, San Diego, on 7 March 1921 and, after three weeks of exercises, was placed in reserve there until October.

She conducted exercises off San Diego from late in the year until sailing with the fleet on 27 June 1922 for exercises off Puget Sound. The ship returned to San Diego on 19 September and resumed operations there.
Shirk departed San Diego on 6 February 1923 with the fleet and participated in combined exercises off Panama from 26 February to 31 March. Returning to San Diego on 11 April, she underwent overhaul at Mare Island from 9 July to 1 September and resumed operations at San Diego on 9 September. She sailed again with the fleet on 2 January 1924 and transited the Panama Canal on 19 January.

Between 23 January and 3 February, she called at Vera Cruz, Mexico where the cruiser Tacoma had been wrecked on 16 January, and at Tampico, before rejoining the fleet at Culebra on 10 February. On 1 March, she departed the Canal Zone for Mare Island where she was overhauled between 19 March and 7 May. Between 26 June and 12 July, she acted as plane guard for aircraft flying from San Diego to Seattle and rejoined the fleet in Puget Sound on 13 July. She returned to San Diego on 1 October.

On 27 April 1925, Shirk arrived at Pearl Harbor with the United States Fleet for combined exercises. On 1 July, the Battle Fleet sailed on a goodwill cruise to the Southwest Pacific, and Shirk visited Melbourne Australia Lyttleton and Wellington, New Zealand, and American Samoa before returning to San Diego on 26 September. She was overhauled at Mare Island from 11 January to 26 February 1926 and operated out of San Diego until departing on 14 June for summer exercises off Washington. She returned to San Diego on 1 September 1926 and again received repairs at Mare Island from 30 December 1926 to 4 February 1927.

On 7 February 1927, Shirk sailed from San Diego and participated in exercises off Panama and, after transiting the Canal on 5 March, operated in the Caribbean with the fleet. She departed the Caribbean on 22 April and visited New York, and conducted a joint Army and Navy exercise in Narragansett Bay before arriving at Hampton Roads on 29 May 1927 for the Presidential review. She arrived in the Canal Zone on 9 June 1927 for duty off Nicaragua with the Special Service Squadron, protecting lives and property of American and other foreign nationals there and encouraging Pacification of the country. She patrolled off Nicaragua from 1 to 23 July, and returned to San Diego on 23 August.

During operations off San Diego, she rescued a disabled man on SS Georgian and carried him into port on 29 August.

Shirk underwent overhaul at Mare Island from 26 February to 11 April 1928 and arrived at Pearl Harbor on 28 April with the fleet, having participated in Fleet Problem VIII en route. She returned to San Diego on 23 June and operated there for the rest of the year. Between 27 January and 6 February 1929, she participated in fleet exercises off Panama, and then underwent overhaul at Mare Island from 24 February to 20 June. She then operated at San Diego until she was decommissioned there on 8 February 1930.

Shirk was struck from the Navy list on 22 July 1930, scrapped at Mare Island, and her hulk sold there on 27 January 1931 to P. J. Willett.

ZFC Significant Flag
Item is Framed


NTP 13(B) Flags, Pennants & Customs manual, Naval History & Heritage Command, 14 November 2011, from: http://www.cnic.navy.mil/NDW/About/CeremonialGuard/CeremonialGuidanceandResources/NTP13BFlagsPennantsCustoms/index.htm

U.S. Navy Command Pennants and Flags, Sea Flags, 14 November 2011, from: http://mysite.verizon.net/vzeohzt4/Seaflags/personal/cmdpen.html

USS Shirk, Wikipedia, 14 November 2011, from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Shirk_%28DD-318%29

Image Credits:
Zaricor Flag Collection

Hoist & Fly

Width of Hoist 68
Length of Fly 43.5


Width of 1st Stripe 5.5
Width of 3rd Stripe 5.5
Width of Last Stripe 5.5
Size of Hoist 0.75


Is it framed? yes
Frame Height 48
Frame Length 78


Are there stars on obverse? no
Are there stars on reverse? no


Number of Stripes 3
Color of Top Stripe Red
Color of Bottom Stripe Red
Has a Blood Stripe? no
Comments on Stripes Middle stripe : White 33.5"


Description of Crest/Emblem Text : "USS Shirk 318"


Nation Represented United States


Fabric Cotton


Stitching Machine


Comments on Method of Attachmen cord with clips
Method of Attachment Ties


Applique Sides Double Sided = Two sides different


All original documents and drawings are held in the Zaricor Flag Collection Archives.
All original documents and drawings are held in the Zaricor Flag Collection Archives.
Research Documents

Public Copy & Signs
All original documents and drawings are held in the Zaricor Flag Collection Archives.


Condition Good
Damage Stained
Displayable yes


Date circa 1917