wedding garland

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An 18th- and 19th-century custom in British warships of hoisting a garland of evergreens in the rigging of a warship when she entered harbour to indicate that she was out of discipline and women would be allowed on board. It was also hoisted on the day any member of the crew was married; if the captain, to the main topgallant stay, if a seaman, on the mast to which he was stationed in the watch-bill. The custom exists in the British Navy to the present day, and a garland is still hoisted on the day when a member of the ship's company is being married.

Subjects: Maritime History.

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