from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A small distinguishing flag displayed by a yacht.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Nautical, a swallow-tailed flag or pendant: in the merchant service it generally has the ship's name upon it.
  • noun A kind of small coal used for burning in engine-furnaces.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A kind of small coat.
  • noun (Naut.) A swallow-tailed flag; a distinguishing pennant, used by cutters, yachts, and merchant vessels.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A broad tapering pennant, often with a swallowtail, flown by merchant ships to identify the vessel and by yachts to identify the yacht club, as well as being the form of the flag of the State of Ohio. (See also, Flag of Ohio).
  • noun A kind of small coal used in furnaces.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Perhaps from French dialectal bourgeais, shipowner, from Old French burgeis, citizen, from bourg, bourg; see bourg.]


  • "Yes, my dear Squaretoes; but we don't call a burgee a flag aboard ships."

    Crown and Anchor Under the Pen'ant

  • Martin Ramin for The Wall Street Journal Hand-scrimshawed burgee buckle For the Salty Dog This hand-scrimshawed burgee buckle jibes well with a canvas belt, salt-faded chinos and a simple pique polo.

    Shoot From the Hip

  • You can get race news (on the Kiwi crew member who lost a finger, for example), updated photos of the beach from the "San Diego Bay-Cam" and a glossary for finding out the difference between a gennaker and a burgee.

    Getting Wet On The Net

  • Still others passionately advocate for the defeat of the housing bonds, and they too fly the burgee of honesty and courage.

    Measure R Dodges Another Bullet

  • As I write this, there are those among us who have actively taken hold of fate's tiller and are out in the open water with the NotPropR burgee.

    Measure R Dodges Another Bullet

  • Others sail under the aegis of brave men and women who have graciously allowed NotPropR to fly their burgee beneath their own.

    Measure R Dodges Another Bullet

  • Now, as she came up into the harbour, she could pass without question for a man-o'-war brig except that she flew the Royal Yacht Squadron burgee instead of a commission pendant.

    Hornblower In The West Indies

  • An impression of paint, varnish, and carpentry was in the air; a gaudy new burgee fluttered aloft; there seemed to be a new rope or two, especially round the diminutive mizzen-mast, which itself looked altogether new.

    The Riddle of the Sands

  • Now, our man held aloft a stick with the houseboat's burgee on it, and a photograph was taken that we might not forget where our diverted road came out and where to go to meet the "friggetts" that might be coming in almost any time.

    Virginia: the Old Dominion

  • Davy Jones they did salute the raising of the neat little burgee that had a silver fox fashioned in silken hand-work upon it.

    The Boy Scouts on Sturgeon Island or Marooned Among the Game-fish Poachers


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  • "'...a first-class commodore, Stephen, with a broad swallow-tailed burgee, a captain under me and a pennant-lieutenant...'"

    --P. O'Brian, The Commodore, 18

    March 16, 2008

  • May each dreaming sailor’s keen urge be

    To break from the dock and to surge free

    With wind at her back

    From tack after tack

    Her hair streaming out like a burgee.

    October 12, 2018