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Pennant

The common legend is, that when Tromp, the Dutch admiral, appeared on our coast, he hoisted a broom on his ship, to signify his intention of sweeping the ships of England from the sea; and that the English admiral hoisted a horsewhip to indicate his intention of drubbing the Dutch. According to this legend, the pennant symbolises a horsewhip, and it is not unfrequently called “the whip.”

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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