The use of colors to designate a ship's & aircraft within a squadron or division was put in place in the late 20's and as such it was pretty much an open secret. But it was a fluid thing.
He noted that, suppose Captain Smith replaced Captain Jones as the CO of the third ship in a battleship division. However Captain Smith had a higher seniority date than other captains in the division. As the Navy is wont to do, his ship would now be the division flagship and have the ship's turret tops repainted to reflect the position in the division. The other ships, including the former flagship would be downgraded and repainted appropriately.
IIRC, Dana also observed that he was unable to confirm that both forward turret tops of the Arizona were painted in December, 1941. I believe he said that the regs only called for B turret forward
His talk was most instructive on the evolution of the aircraft tail colors and markings to associate the colors to battleship squadrons and divisions.
Lord, I hope he finds a publisher