The Broom and the Whip




 
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May 14th, 2004  
Mark Conley
 
 

Topic: The Broom and the Whip


During one of englands many wars fought at sea, the following ship traditions accoured. It explains where the ideal came...for certain types of ships ornements.

Seems like the Dutch and English navys were going to meet in a major engagement. The Dutch Admiral, to raise his peoples morale, Had the fleet hoist long leather whips to the highest points on their ships, in their quest to "Whip the british" during the upcoming battle. The British Admiral immediatly hoisted a common straw broom to the top of his mast, Indicating that he intended to "Sweep the Seas" clean of his opponent.

Well, the dutch lost the Battle. But the whip idea intriqued the british so much, that long streaming pennants representing the whip came into being, and were flown from the mastheads. These pennants eventually evolved into a ships comissioning pennant, which is a strip flag thatis hoisted apon the ships entry into the fleet, flys until its almost gone, then replaced. No real sailor will get on a ship that doesnt have one..at least i was led to believe that by the Cheifs in my NJROTC course...

The latest use of the broom became famous in WW II, when a US Submarine returning from a sucessful ship sinking patrol would often tie a broom to its periscope or other tall structure...indicating that it had swept the sea in its patrol area and had a most sucessful mission.

May 19th, 2004  
1217
 
Funny how we can still teach the English something even when we lose the battle...
May 29th, 2004  
Mark Conley
 
 
I have a correction to make with this post: The british flew the whips: the Dutch had the brooms. everything else is correct once you put those elements into place.

My thanks to the nameless person that informed me of the mistake!
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May 30th, 2004  
1217
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Conley
I have a correction to make with this post: The british flew the whips: the Dutch had the brooms. everything else is correct once you put those elements into place.

My thanks to the nameless person that informed me of the mistake!
Make's more sence... "Whip the british" can't be a direct translation from Dutch. "In Dutch there's no verb for "whipping" It would be "giving someone with a whip" which is not an expression that means anything other then the actually using a whip.