Duncan MacLeod wrote:
The closest we got to this in TOS was in "The Immunity Syndrome" when Spock called the Enterprise the finest starship in the fleet.
I might be misremembering, but i don't think he said that. The closest the TOS Enterprise ever came to being the best of anything was when Kirk remarked that Spock was considered the best first officer in the fleet.
Far from being the "finest starship in the fleet
," a lot of times the Enterprise seemed to be getting the little shit jobs. yes they did some first contacts, but they also checked up on one, two or six person science missions, hailed around a bride, and other grunt work.
Of all the hero ships of the five series, the TOS Enterprise was the only one that wasn't newly launched, I really think that it was more of a "old workhorse."
... actual flag officers in actual ships [snip] and Starfleet does.
When was any Starfleet Admiral referred to as a "flag officer?"
I don't believe Starfleet uses that term.