Federation starship names
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Join Date: Sep 2012
11-17-2012, 12:15 AM
Ship names as painted on the hull are always in all caps 'cause that's the way they are in the movies and shows. It's part of the canon Starfleet marking conventions. It's also the same with real world naval ship names markings, which is what the fictional sc-fi markings are based on/inspired by. Names will be proper noun capitalized in normal text situations, but hull markings, mission patches, banners, etc are all caps.
I'd guess it's probably the predominant convention even with civilian boats (commercial boats, at least for certain), whether it's legally required or not. It's a visibility thing: so other boats, or even aircraft if need be, can have an easier time reading your name at a distance.
...Not that would be terribly useful on a starship, outside of spacedock/drydock. It mostly just boils down to a visual design way of telling the audience "this is a military ship". Gotta retain some token vestige of a Starfleet style code somewhere, what with all the customizable "uniforms" and paint schemes.