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A pennant is usually a narrow tapering flag most commonly flown by ships at sea.

A commissioning pennant is the traditional sign of a warship, and is flown from the masthead while the ship is in commission.

A broad pennant in the Royal Navy is a swallow-tailed tapering flag flown from the masthead of a ship to indicate the presence of a commodore. It is so called because its dimensions are roughly 2:3.

A church pennant in European navies is flown during church services. In the United States Navy, a pennant is also flown over the national colors during religious services.

Unlike the triangular pennant, most national and departmental flags are rectangular; the national flag of Nepal and the state flag of Ohio in the U.S. are the only notable modern flags to be a variation of the standard pennant.

In baseball, a pennant is a commemorative flag flown by the champion of a league, and has come to refer to the league championship itself.