"Flagship" in Trek appears to have a different meaning, since there appear to
be no admirals personally commanding vessels or groups on a regular basis.
The Enterprise is the "flagship" of Starfleet in the sense that it is the most
Here's another example, from: http://www.spiritlinecruises.com/ourfleet.asp
"The flagship of our fleet is the 100 foot Spirit of Carolina, a dinner cruise
vessel delivered in 1998"
> An admiral only comes on
> board to bother Picard or the like. Any ideas?
A misunderstanding on the part of writers who think "flagship" means "the
best" or something like that. Apparently the term has a broader meaning in
TNG's era. We don't know what they call an actual flagship.
> A misunderstanding on the part of writers who think "flagship" means "the
> best" or something like that. Apparently the term has a broader meaning in
> TNG's era.
As it does in ours:
flag·ship (flgshp) n.
1.. A ship that carries a fleet or squadron commander and bears the commander's flag.
2.. The chief one of a related group: the flagship of a newspaper chain; the flagship of a
line of reference books.
Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Uh oh, you just pushed the "Is Starfleet Military?" button.
Maybe we should establish this subject as the Trek version of Godwin's
At any rate, in newtrek, I think my previous example is more fitting:
What's Godwin's Law?
DC2.Dw Gf L6m3t5w W- T Phfwlt Sks,wl Cau+,bau,bl' Bfl/pl/zz A- Fr+++ Nn
M O/ H--- $ Fo R- Ac+ J+ S+ U! I--# V+++![Power] V---[Control] V++[Food
Fight Magic ++] Q+++[tk] Tc+++[sw] Tc+[other]
FMSmpsw3r A-- C- D H+ M- P R+ T+++ W- Z+ S- RLCT ca++$ d-- e+ f- h- i+
j+ p-- sx--
> What's Godwin's Law?
Godwin's Law is on old saw that holds that most usenet debates will
eventually degenerate into insults and name-calling, and that someone
will eventually compare someone else to Hitler and Nazis. At that
point, all possibility for useful dialog is lost, and the debate should just
be considered ended, with the person who invoked Hitler/Nazis
declared the loser. The "Is Starfleet Military?" debate is one of those
hopelessly insoluable exchanges, though admittedly I haven't heard of
anyone in one of them hurling the moustached one at his/her opponent
>> Maybe we should establish this subject as the Trek version of Godwin's
> What's Godwin's Law?
Godwin's Law is a bit of Usenet culture that is often misunderstood. Most
people think that it means that a thread is (or at least should be) over as
soon as somebody mentions Hitler. The idea is that as a thread goes on,
people get their emotions up, and finally one poster calls another Hitler
(or a Nazi) and then the thread should end. It is like a parent rushing in
and saying "Okay, everybody take a time out!"
(So presumably the person above meant that the question of Starfleet being
military was a subject that nobody should discuss in Trek, because it gets
The reality is that Godwin (whoever he was--you can look it up via Google)
postulated a clever and funny little "law" that said that the longer that a
thread continued, the more likely it was that _eventually_ somebody would
mention Hitler. The reasoning was that long threads (where "long" is
defined by the amount of posts, not the length of time) are naturally
emotional ones--lots of people posting very passionately. So eventually
someone would get so mad that they would call someone else Hitler.
I've always wondered if one could write an exception to Godwin's Law for
groups dealing with World War II.
>> > A misunderstanding on the part of writers who think "flagship" means "the
>> > best" or something like that. Apparently the term has a broader meaning in
>> > TNG's era.
>> As it does in ours:
>> flag·ship (flgshp) n.
>> 1.. A ship that carries a fleet or squadron commander and bears
> the commander's flag.
>> 2.. The chief one of a related group: the flagship of a newspaper
> chain; the flagship of a
>> line of reference books.
>> Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language,
> Fourth Edition
> Sure, but only definition 1. is properly used when discussing warships.
But it does not have to be that way. As he already pointed out, definition
2 works just as well.
And as I would point out, you can explain a lot of Trek tech if you think in
terms not of naval/maritime terminology, but in terms of aviation
terminology. In aviation, airlines occasionally refer to certain planes as
their "flagship." This usually means one plane that carries a fancy paint
scheme and flies a certain popular route. It is entirely symbolic and has
nothing to do with rank or who flies the aircraft.
The answer to this depends less on your definitions of Starfleet and
more on your definitions of "military."
Starfleet is the primary armed defense of the Federation, so far as
we've seen. It is also a hierarchical structure with clear rank and a
chain of command. It's members are called "officers" or "crew" and it
has "trainees" and "cadets." This would make it appear to be military
OTOH, insubordination is dealt with loosely, and unless you actively put
someone in danger, the worst that can happen to you is you get "fired"
from Starfleet. Likewise, many organizations (including corporations)
have hierarchical structures with ranking systems (managers, directors,
vice-presidents, etc). Starfleet's terminology mimics our present day
military, but that could more be a reflection of its roots. As it
appears, mainly in TNG, Starfleet's actual hierarchy looks more like a
corporate structure than a strict military one.
I guess one distinction might be in resources -- as in, where does
Starfleet get theirs? Are those shiny pearlescent starships made with
their own scientists and facilities, or are these things "provided" as
part of some kind of "tax" on Federation citizens? IOW, is Starfleet an
autonomous entity? Evidence suggests no, but there are no hard facts
either way. And, of course, Starfleet's degree of autonomy may vary
widely between 2150 and 2380 (becoming less so, and less military in
nature, it seems).
By Picard's time, Starfleet seems to be very non-military in tone. No
real sign of saluting or acknowledgement of superior officers, and the
lifestyle of people on board the Ent-D seems to be one of a mega-sized
Certainly we don't see admirals or commodores on the Enterprise too
often, but perhaps the class has appropriate flag officer facilities
(flag bridge and quarters) too.
He was an argumentative sumbitch I met around 1984 on the Leprechaun BBS in
Austin. He was attending UT law school at the time; went on to become legal
counsel for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. I think we almost came to
blows during an argument about multitasking on the Macintosh.
Different Godwin. The Godwin who wrote Godwin's Law is Mike Godwin.
FWIW, it has long been SOP that if the admiral goes down in action, the
chief of staff (or, absent him, the flag captain and so on down) takes over
and the orders keep coming from the flagship, to avoid confusing the
situation. So at Trafalgar when Nelson was shot, even though VAdm
Collingwood was the next-in-line flag officer, VICTORY still made the
signals until things had settled down and all vessels could be informed of
the change in command.
> >> flag·ship (flgshp) n.
> >> 1.. A ship that carries a fleet or squadron commander and bears
> > the commander's flag.
> >> 2.. The chief one of a related group: the flagship of a
> > chain; the flagship of a
> >> line of reference books.
> >> Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English
> > Fourth Edition
> > Sure, but only definition 1. is properly used when discussing warships.
> But it does not have to be that way. As he already pointed out,
> 2 works just as well.
What I'm saying is that using the other definition to refer to a naval
vessel would be technically incorrect. I'm not talking Trek.
> And as I would point out, you can explain a lot of Trek tech if you think
> terms not of naval/maritime terminology, but in terms of aviation
> terminology. In aviation, airlines occasionally refer to certain planes
> their "flagship." This usually means one plane that carries a fancy paint
> scheme and flies a certain popular route. It is entirely symbolic and has
> nothing to do with rank or who flies the aircraft.
No argument, that seems to be the Trek usage. The only problem is that,
unlike airlines, Starfleet has flagships in the original sense. They either
use the same term for two different things or have a new term for the
admiral's vessel, "command ship" or "lead ship" or something like that
I hope not, I was responding to the dictionary definition, not its Trek
> At any rate, in newtrek, I think my previous example is more fitting:
> from: http://www.spiritlinecruises.com/ourfleet.asp
> "The flagship of our fleet is the 100 foot Spirit of Carolina, a dinner
> vessel delivered in 1998"
I agree, that is how they seem to use the term.
> I've still not heard anything official that says that a Navy can't have a
> lead ship that they call on first for trouble that they call the flagship
> the fleet.
I guess they could, but they don't in the real world. "Flagship" in the
naval sense refers to a vessel that a flag officer (eligible to command at
sea) is on, or a vessel designated for a flag officer to command from at
> Couldn't the flagship of a Navy be the one that's called on to
> "go show the flag" in a hotspot all the time?
The flag in the term "showing the flag" is the national flag or, more
properly, ensign flown by any warship. The flag in "flagship" is the
personal rank flag of the flag officer.
And the ship that gets called upon for trouble is the one that can get there
first. It doesn't make much sense to have one vessel designated for every
emergency as she couldn't be everywhere at once.
> Personally, I would define Starfleet as a paramilitary orginization. The
> charter for Starfleet seems to be most like that of the US Coast Guard under
> normal conditions. It is only in war that they become more like the Navy.
> But this is just my opinion.
I would agree with your comparison of the two organizations' charters,
however, the US Coast Guard is not "paramilitary."
"The U.S. Coast Guard is a military, multi-mission, maritime service."
We could probably compare various groups in Trek (Klingons, Romulans,
Cardassians, etc.) to Nazis til the cows come home, so long as we don't
actually descend to calling each other by the term. It seems to me that a
discussion specifically about WWII and the Nazis would certainly require
someone to do that.
With regard to the original intent of Godwin's Law, While it is true that the
common mutation of "Godwin's Law" is not exactly what Godwin originally
said, it is nevertheless the commonly used interpretation. Below is what
Godwin himself had to say about it.
Mike Godwin (mnem...@well.com)
Mon, 16 Mar 1998 18:21:10 -0500
Certainly I never said anything originally about whether the mention of
Nazis means the discussion is over -- there are countless instances to the
The primary mutation of Godwin's Law (not discussed, infra, for obvious
reasons) states that when such a reference or comparison occurs,
*meaningful* discussion is over.
Speaking empirically, I think there is a lot of truth to this mutation.
It is a common mistake to interpret the original version of Godwin's Law as
primarily a probability statement. If that were so, it would never have had
any currency. It is intended, of course, as a statement about online
rhetorical excesses, and as an implicit criticism of one of those excesses.
> Mike Godwin (mnem...@well.com)
> Mon, 16 Mar 1998 18:21:10 -0500
> Certainly I never said anything originally about whether the mention of
> Nazis means the discussion is over -- there are countless instances to the
> The primary mutation of Godwin's Law (not discussed, infra, for obvious
> reasons) states that when such a reference or comparison occurs,
> *meaningful* discussion is over.
> Speaking empirically, I think there is a lot of truth to this mutation.
> It is a common mistake to interpret the original version of Godwin's Law as
> primarily a probability statement. If that were so, it would never have had
> any currency. It is intended, of course, as a statement about online
> rhetorical excesses, and as an implicit criticism of one of those excesses.
Thanks for reprinting that. It's an excellent post. And he's right--if it
was just a probability statement, then it wouldn't have had much point.
Not sure if I made this any more clear, if not, let me know.
The flagship in the sense in which it is used in starfleet, is the ship that
would be sent to patrol the Neutral Zone when the Romulans were acting up
because just by the reputation of the Ship, and her captain and crew, the
Romulans would be intimidated and back off. The ship that says, "These are
our best and brightest. Watch yourselves." Does that explain what I mean any
>Personally, I would define Starfleet as a paramilitary orginization. The
>charter for Starfleet seems to be most like that of the US Coast Guard under
>normal conditions. It is only in war that they become more like the Navy.
>But this is just my opinion.
Uh... What does your Navy do in times of 'absence of war'? Ours dedicates its
resources to exploration, scientific research, helping victims of natural
disasters, patroling the borders, fighting terrorists and drug smugglers (who
are nothing but heavily-armed criminals, against whom the police doesn't have
the adequate means of defending itself), and some other stuff. Pretty much what
we've seen Starfleet do.
__________ ____---____ Marco Antonio Checa Funcke
\_________D /-/---_----' Santiago de Surco, Lima, Peru
remove the "no_me_j." and "sons.of." parts before replying
>"Dwayne Day" <zirc...@earthlink.net> wrote in message
>> The reality is that Godwin (whoever he was--you can look it up via Google)
>> postulated a clever and funny little "law" that said that the longer that
>> thread continued, the more likely it was that _eventually_ somebody would
>> mention Hitler. The reasoning was that long threads (where "long" is
>> defined by the amount of posts, not the length of time) are naturally
>> emotional ones--lots of people posting very passionately. So eventually
>> someone would get so mad that they would call someone else Hitler.
>Godwin is a SHE. Laura Godwin, to be exact. She's a slasher. K/S. Does it
That's Laura GOOdwin, then...
>just for the hell of it, near as I can figure. Last I saw of her, she was
>posting under the handle of ToolPackinMama in alt.startrek, but I decided
Yep, she's there all right. There's troll named PROMETHEUS who seems to have
a personal grudge against her... I haven't been following any of those threads
>not to deal with that newsgroup this time around of being back online. Too
>time consuming to keep up with it.
Only if you read each and every message... and it has less than 100 a day.
[well, right now with Nemesis its daily traffic may have increased somewhat]
Other NGs to which I'm subscribed have far more than that (a couple bordering
500, or even more sometimes). Try rec.arts.sf.written or soc.history.what-if
There already is. As you mentioned, Godwin's Law is that the longer the
thread, the more likely a participant in it will be compared to the Nazis
and/or Hitler. If you're talking *about* Hitler and/or the Nazis, it
(I'm in soc.history.what-if where middle 20th Century German dictators and
their ideologies come up all the time.)
I don't know enough about the navy to know if this is true while the
battle is going on, but this seems unlikely once things settle down.
Unless otherwise directed by command authority the most senior officer
would I think take command.
>> Uh oh, you just pushed the "Is Starfleet Military?" button.
>I guess one distinction might be in resources -- as in, where does
>Starfleet get theirs? Are those shiny pearlescent starships made with
>their own scientists and facilities, or are these things "provided" as
>part of some kind of "tax" on Federation citizens? IOW, is Starfleet an
>autonomous entity? Evidence suggests no, but there are no hard facts
The phrase that leaps to mind is Nils Barris's "I pay your
salary!" (and Kirk's "In that case, I want a raise.") which may
have been used in "The Trouble with Tribbles" (memory fails).
Of course, this pushes the "Economics in Star Trek" button, which
also generates much heat and very little new information.
>At any rate, in newtrek, I think my previous example is more fitting:
>"The flagship of our fleet is the 100 foot Spirit of Carolina, a dinner cruise
>vessel delivered in 1998"
"You're comparing the Enterprise to a cruise ship?!?"
-Picard, "The Neutral Zone"
I have to go with the general idea that everyone has an excelent 2- 3
bedroom condo(by our standards-no slum lords) with all expenses
covered, good food (replicated), clothing,computer access,
"entertainment acess" (tv or eqivilent etc.)
Working for a dangerous organasation like starfleet gets you for
perks (but it is not required)
It seems to be a little like the IDEA of communisim with everyone
getting a very good free base and working up from there
The problem is when you get to peons like me, what do we do ?
apart from the tourism industry (hotels assorted tours) it woould
seem there would be a lot of people with nothing to do.
Starfleet itself is probably alloted a pre-negotioated percentege of
a planets resources to allow for operations (IE planet X has dilithium
starfleet gets %,, planet Y has Titanium based metals, for a planet
with little resources,or a low sulture rating it is ok you get a vote
but as a minor member (like the UN top 5 then the rest) probably a top
4? then a 2/3 then a 1/3 depending on contibution and or stratigic
Ok thread returned alive and unharmed
> "Justin Broderick" <justi...@my-deja.com> wrote in message
>> Sure, but only definition 1. is properly used when discussing warships.
> Uh oh, you just pushed the "Is Starfleet Military?" button.
Of course it is though, regardless of arguments to the contrary. Do they
fight wars? Yes we've seen they do. Are most of their ships heavily armed
combat capable ships.....why, yes they seem to be. Do they use a military
command structure? Yes again. Are they primarily responsable for the
national (U.F.P. being the nation of course) security and defense? Yep.
The fact that they carry out humanitarian, scientific, and diplomatic
missions in peacetime is irrelevant....so does our modern military.
They can say they are "The Happy Fun Ship Gay Orgy Brigade" for all I care,
they are still military.
"One day I woke up, and I realized I was never going to be normal...I
said so be it." --Hard Harry, Pump Up the Volume
The man, the music, the man pimping the music...
That is pure coincidence. It could have been Vinson or Stennis or
Connie etc., and if the implication is that another BG would not have
been adequate to the situation I have to disagree.
> The flagship in the sense in which it is used in starfleet, is the ship that
> would be sent to patrol the Neutral Zone when the Romulans were acting up
> because just by the reputation of the Ship, and her captain and crew, the
> Romulans would be intimidated and back off. The ship that says, "These are
> our best and brightest. Watch yourselves." Does that explain what I mean any
I see what you mean. It doesn't sound realistic. The post-TOS
mythologizing of Enterprise and her crew in their own time has never
sat right to me. Really you would want a potential adversary to
believe that any of your ships, captains and crews were as good as any
other. Otherwise, if you're planning something, why not wait until
the golden boys go in for an overhaul?
I'd have to agree. As I've said elsewhere, I think the mythologizing of
the Enterprise was largely done for the benefit of Starfleet's public
image *within* the Federation, almost as a marketing ploy to get more
recruits. Most enemies (especially Romulans) put an edge of satire in
their voices when referring to the "mighty Enterprise," as if they had
heard the hype but didn't really believe it.
And the there are the Klingons who actually went looking for a shot at
> I don't know enough about the navy to know if this is true while the
> battle is going on, but this seems unlikely once things settle down.
> Unless otherwise directed by command authority the most senior officer
> would I think take command.
Sorry, I should have made that clearer. This applies only during
action, the idea being that battle is confusing enough without
compounding it by a sudden change of command.
An interesting example was the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, Nov. 1942,
when a group of US cruisers and destroyers were caught in a savage
night action with a Japanese force that included two battleships. The
task group commander, RAdm Daniel Callaghan, was killed when the
flagship SAN FRANCISCO took a brutal shelling. The CO and XO were
also injured, and 33 year old LCdr Bruce McCandless found himself the
ranking officer on the bridge. Seriously wounded himself, he
continued not only to direct the ship's fire, but to make signals to
the rest of the group. The other flag officer in the group, RAdm
Norman Scott, was also killed, but there were several captains in the
other ships. In fact, there was a senior LCdr in SAN FRANCISCO, but
he was busy with damage control and told McCandless to keep the conn.
McCandless got the Medal of Honor, and a frigate was named for him.
His son Bruce McCandless II was also a navy officer and made the first
This is still covered in USN Regulations, which say that if the flag
officer commanding is killed or incapacitated in battle, the next
officer in the flagship takes command until it is practical to inform
the next senior officer in the group and notify the other ships that
command has been shifted.
The flagship of a cruise line is the ship that has the greatest PR value.
I gather this is the meaning of the word when applied to the Galaxy class
Enterprise-D. She is technologically advanced, and even has a large number of
gee-whiz gadgets of dubious utilizability but great showcase value, like
the saucer separation and redocking capability. She's big, perhaps larger
than she need be. And she's plush, far plusher than any other ship we've
seen, save perhaps for Kirk's E-A in ST5.
That Starfleet chooses to use a line officer instead of a flag officer
as the commander of that ship is just their decision. Perhaps it's
another concession to marketability: "We're so good that even our
lower-ranking officers get to fly hot rods like this!" Perhaps it's
a general policy of not using flag ranks for starship command, not
even when the ship regularly performs cutting edge diplomacy.
As for the E-E, there is less justification for calling her a flagship.
For one, she hasn't been called that yet, or has she? And she ain't
plush, even if she has gadgetry to put James Bond's vehicles to shame.
Starfleet also seems to operate "flagships" of more traditional kind.
Our guest-star Admirals sometimes specify a vessel as their flagship,
i.e. the ship where their flag will fly during the operation. Almost
invariably, the VFX people decide that this ship is of Excelsior
class - and virtually never do we see a ship of "Enterprise class"
(a Constitution, E-B-variant, Ambassador, Galaxy or Sovereign) used
as a flagship in this sense.
There may be various reasons to this. In the era of poor ship-to-ship
communications, flag officers tended to choose either some well-protected
battlebarge that could safely sit in the very heat of the battle and
take her time to send the required signals - or then a relatively fast
and agile vessel that could zip between locations and allow the admiral
to give orders where they were needed the most. The Excelsiors could
be better armored than the "peaceful" mid-24th century vessels. Or they
could be more agile than the overbloated Galaxies and Nebulas.
Later on, as communications tech improved, flag officers usually chose
ships that had the most extensive comm systems. That is, ships with a lot
of internal volume, but not necessarily much in the way of armor or
armament. Perhaps the Excelsiors excel in this? Perhaps they were
"overengineered" originally to meet unknown growth requirements (like
groundbreaking ships often are), and currently are the ships with the
best ratio of free modular volume to vital fixed volume? (Much like the
oversized Spruance destroyers that later became Ticonderoga cruisers,
the favored flagships of the USN)
Any other ideas? Perhaps the admirals just prefer the sort of ships
that were hot back when they themselves were starship captains...
>> > The reality is that Godwin (whoever he was--you can look it up via
>> > Google) postulated a clever and funny little "law" [..]
>> Godwin is a SHE. Laura Godwin, to be exact. She's a slasher. K/S. Does it
>> just for the hell of it, near as I can figure. Last I saw of her, she was
>> posting under the handle of ToolPackinMama in alt.startrek, but I decided
>> not to deal with that newsgroup this time around of being back online. Too
>> time consuming to keep up with it.
>Different Godwin. The Godwin who wrote Godwin's Law is Mike Godwin.
'Sides, isn't our TPM a Laura Goldwin, with "l"?
Interesting... In the "First Contact" scenario, though, I think we could
be better off looking at Trek's own rules and definitions than seeking
for real-world advice. Although I'm convinced that the writers of "FC"
were not aware of this, VOY once did reveal that in a tactical situation
of poorly established chains of command, the captain of the most powerful
vessel always gains overall tactical command - even over the seniority
of other starship commanders of identical rank. And supposedly even over
the seniority of other starship commanders of higher rank, if for some
reason the captain of the powerful ship is a low-ranking one.
Assuming that Adm. Hayes was the only flag officer involved in the battle,
and assuming that the destruction of his ship deprived the fleet both
of contact with the Admiral (who did not die, as we later saw in VOY)
and of a powerful starship, it would be quite plausible that Picard's
vessel would be the most powerful starship present, and Picard a relatively
senior captain compared to the average. That would give him the instant
right to usurp overall command as per Starfleet regulations.
Even if there were more powerful ships *and* more senior captains present,
I doubt they would strongly have objected, not when Picard was able to
deliver a convincing "trust me, I know what I'm doing" message. And
Picard's ship wasn't battle-damaged, so she would still have outranked an
identical vessel that had already spent hours or days in the battle...
And it makes perfect sense to me that Hayes would be the only flag
officer involved, despite the proximity of Earth and the supposedly
hundreds of admirals down there. Starfleet wouldn't be so stupid as
to deliberately confuse the chains of command at the crucial moment
when the Cube was nearing its target. (OTOH, Starfleet *could* have
had more than one flag officer in the defensive fleet originally,
hopefully situated on separate ships. But who knows how many flag
officers the Borg had already eliminated prior to the climax of the
It might be worth noting that the E-D was referred to as the flagship of
the *Federation,* which may be a largely ceremonial function entirely
different from that of being a flagship in Starfleet.
Here, however, we have the possibility of an argument "X is clearly
military, and Y is less so". There are military services in the US
that hold a greater claim to being military than the USCG does -
services that are actually controlled by the DoD and not peacetime-
shared by the DoT, services that have a more limited and more
violent scope of duties. In that regard, "paramilitary" for USCG
makes semantic sense, even if it doesn't necessarily flatter the
organization. And if "paramilitary" cannot be used here, where can
it be? In connection with the Salvation Army?
In the case of Starfleet, we cannot make this argument. Starfleet is
the best analogy of a military service available to us in the Trek
universe, not the second best. If 24th century people don't want to
call anything "military", fine. But if they want to call something
military, then Starfleet obviously is this something. Thus,
"paramilitary" makes less semantic sense. Unless one wants to say
Starfleet is "para" in comparison with foreign military services...
Ok, rambling done. Let me know what you think of my thoughts on the issue.
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>>> Sure, but only definition 1. is properly used when discussing warships.
>> Uh oh, you just pushed the "Is Starfleet Military?" button.
>They can say they are "The Happy Fun Ship Gay Orgy Brigade" for all I care,
>they are still military.
I can easily see why they would choose not to call themselves that, though.
("military", that is!) Just look at it from an "enlightened" 24th century
viewpoint, and reapply the above statement to what these people would
see when they look back at us.
"They can say they are 'military' for all I care, they are still a bunch
This is a factually true statement, but one that does not flatter those
who would prefer the name "military". It is obvious for us why the
militaries choose *not* to call themselves in that other factually
correct manner. Just as obviously, the Trek people might have a pressing
motivation to play semantic games of subterfuge. And their counterreaction
to calling them by their other "correct" name would be quite predictable
Indeed. Sinking the Deutschland would probably have been a favorite
hobby project for the Royal Navy in WWII, had the vessel not been
renamed. (USS America might have been a similar red flag for those
red-flag guys a few decades ago, too.) Publicity and fame can be a
I, too, suspect Starfleet keeps up the Enterprise tradition mainly
for "internal use". It's just one inbred tradition among many, some
probably dating fr