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.
Spock certainly did say that. But it's not something to be taken literally. The circumstances were emotional: I think Spock was just indulging the tendency of officers & crew to say their
ship is the best ship, and their shipmates the best crew.
Think of the string quartet playing on the deck of the Titanic, and imagine the first violin saying to the others, "It's a privilege to play with you gentlemen, you are the finest players in the world. Now let's pick up the waltz, one-two-three...." Then the ship sinks. It's a traditional powerful, noble sentiment. But it's not necessarily to be taken literally, ie that viola player really is the best in the world.
Point being, Spock said it, but it's not relevant to this talk of flagship / not flagship etc.