What is a Fouled Anchor?

What is a Fouled Anchor?

Fouled Anchor

A fouled anchor is a Naval symbol that’s an anchor with a chain wrapped around it.  A fouled anchor has long been the symbol of the Chief Petty Officer.  It symbolizes trials and tribulations that every officer has to face.

A fouled anchor is an anchor that has caught on an obstruction on the bottom or one that has become tangled in its own hawser or chain making it difficult to raise.

It comes from long tradition. A “killick” in Scottish Gaelic, it originated in ancient times as a religious symbol of steadfastness, hope and salvation.  It is also an ancient British heraldic device.

The Lord Howard of Effingham used the “Fouled Anchor” as his seal  in 1588 when he was Lord High Admiral of England, at the time of the defeat of the Spanish Armada.

You will see a fouled anchor on all the officers’ flags

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