- a staff at the stern of a vessel at which the ensign is flown.
Origin of ensign staff
First recorded in 1700–10
Also called poop staff.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for ensign staff
For a moment the ensign-staff shook in his hands, as if whipped by a gale.Fort Amity
Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
A large flag or banner, hoisted on a long pole erected over the stern, and called the ensign-staff.
Also, the small rope to which a flag is fastened, to hoist it to the mast-head, or head of the ensign-staff.
In large vessels it is an additional aftermost mast; thus any sail set on the ensign-staff would be a jigger.
Thus, at the ensign-staff, it signifies that a man has fallen overboard; if no ensign-staff exists, then half-way up the peak.