Friendly rivalry and native pride prompt Annapolis to adopt burgee

ON THE WATER

March 12, 2006|By ANNIE LINSKEY

Last week bigwigs in Annapolis city government said, "We've got a new burgee!"

Most sailors are big fans of flags - particularly those little triangular ones, called burgees, that flutter from the sterns or masts of their boats.

The city's burgee doesn't look a whole heck of a lot different from the city's official flag - which is perhaps the point.

We chatted with Annapolis Mayor Ellen O. Moyer to try to understand the importance of this symbol.

Hello, this is Annie Linskey with The Baltimore Sun, I was calling about the new burgee.

I don't know why we didn't have one before.

Why does the city need one?

It is another way of celebration of our city. It is a fun time - we're looking forward to spring, and the Sailing Hall of Fame opening, and extending our welcome to everyone. The burgee is a part of sharing our city.

How did you get the idea that we needed one?

It came from a variety of different sources.

Our rival, our competitor, the city that used to be the sailing capital of the country - Newport [R.I.] - they are proud to have a burgee, and it seems appropriate that we should have one too. It's a friendly rivalry.

How did you know about their burgee?

I was up there last year, for the Annapolis-to-Newport race. The Annapolis Yacht Club won it.

Could you describe it?

It is similar to our city flag. There are the same symbols, the Queen Anne's crown and the thistle. Those are the two symbols of the city. Those are our heritage symbols. It's all taken from the emblem of the city, which is in our ordinance.

OK. Can you go over the symbols again?

Haven't you seen them?

Um. Yes, but I never knew what they stood for.

We're named after Queen Anne and these were her two symbols. Those were the symbols of the two branches of the two families that came together. The Scottish thistle and the Tudor family rose. The crown is her sovereignty that was her royal badge.

And the red trim? Is there anything special about that?

That just helps it stand out.

So how do I get one?

They'll be available at the Maritime Heritage festival [May 4].

They'll be for sale for $20, I think. These are silk-screened. If we sell a lot and they are in high demand, maybe we'll have them embroidered. Then there will be a first edition and a second edition.

What are people saying about the burgee?

I haven't heard anything, but I've got about 2 inches of e-mail to get through.

You know, when I was a young junior sailor, and I'm not saying I ever did this, but people used to steal burgees from yacht clubs.

We're not promoting that game at all.

You don't think someone from the Newport City Council might steal the burgee?

Um, it's a friendly rivalry.

annie.linskey@baltsun.com

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