A flag officer is a member of the Armed Forces who is commissioned to wave a flag when he takes command. The term refers to members of the British Navy, who hold one of the admiral ranks. However, the term can apply in the US Army, the US Air Force and the US Marine Corps. The flag officer based in Plymouth is one of the 39 flag officers in the British Army.
In the British Navy, there is a distinction between a ’flag officer’ and an ’officer of flag rank’. All rear-admirals are officers of flag rank but only those who are entitled to fly a flag gain the title ’flag officer’.