Friday, February 17, 2012

Schooner Western Union Closer to Becoming Florida's Official Flagship

The Florida legislature took another step towards making the Schooner Western Union the official flagship of the state.

The Senate, in a unanimous vote passed SB326 known as State Symbols/State Flagship and sponsored by Senator Bullard, which states:
Official state flagship.—The schooner Western Union, a 130-foot historic sailing vessel of the tall ship class, built in Key West and first launched in 1939, is designated the official state flagship.
Now it is up to the Florida House to vote on their identical bill, H395 sponsored by Representive Broxson.

It is would be quite the honor to have the Schooner Western Union as the state's flagship.  Already it is designated the official flagship of Key West.

Here is an early photo of the schooner, built to lay and maintain communication cables between Key West and the Caribbean.  Notice the large pulleys, along the port side of the vessel, used to handle the large and heavy cables.
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FTL said...

As a cable historian I have been following the ups and downs of the Western Union over the last ten years, so I'm delighted to see that this lone remaining sailing ship from the cable industry is finally receiving recognition of its importance.

My cable history website has a page on the ship, with historical details of its use for laying and repairing cables, along with photos of the recent restoration in progress:
CS Western Union History

Cayo Dave said...

FTL: I'm still wondering where the great transom nameplate that used to adorn the stern went. While not original to the vessel, before its restoration it was on the boat. Maybe it is being restored? Either way, glad it is back in the water and each time I see it leave the harbor I can't help but smile and admire its beautiful lines.