I have always understood the HMS Hood to have been the pride of the British Navy and that is how I have interpreted the description of the Enterprise-D as the flagship of Starfleet, it was the pride of the fleet.
Sure, but people didn't call Hood
the flagship of the Royal Navy. That wouldn't have made sense.
The Old Mixer wrote:
It doesn't matter if it was or wasn't. It only serves my point if the Galaxy was fully operational, because they chose to wait for the second ship in the series, the one that would be given the name and registry of the Enterprise, to designate as the Federation's flagship.
This seems to imply that the "Federation flagship" designation is assigned early in a vessels' career and is fairly permanent, but is there any reason to assume that's the case?
Well it would make sense that the first one off the production line was the USS Galaxy, [...]
Or maybe not, for instance the Lexington-class carrier Saratoga
(CV-3) actually completed and entered service before Lexington