I happened to see on the Telly the katasterism ... no; not quite the right word ... of Admiral Kirk. I was disappointed that nobody saluted the quarter-deck as they came on board; but, mostly, that his fine craft did not have his flag qua admiral painted on it.
In the Royal Navy, admirals fly the red cross of S George. To this simple design, a Rear Admiral adds two red spheres; a Vice Admiral just one red sphere; a full Admiral no spheres.
This means that, when a Vice Admiral is promoted to the next rank, the ratings on his flagship will look up at the masthead and observe "Goodness gracious me! The Admiral has now got no spheres at all!"
Perhaps there is something peculiarly English about becoming less visibly assertive as one becomes more really important. In the US Navy, I like to think of them using American-style stars, and gradually accumulating more and more of them as they become Bigger and Better admirals ... so that the American Lord High Admiral has a veritable Milky Way flying above his head.
Is it true that Mrs Kirk's baby had pointed ears but they hushed it up?