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Old 08-02-2006, 10:51   #16
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Well said, Chuck, except for the unintended implications of these two statements:
You properly indicate that ... Many (Americans) checking in to foreign ports created problems for those checking in behind them because of their attitudes etc ... and then go on to say ..Our experiences have been wonderfully so far but the next boat behind us will tell of miserable experiences in the same harbor ...
Having come to know you, through your writings, I doubt very much that is true.
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Old 09-02-2006, 08:42   #17
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Thanks Gord, You are right, I did not mean to imply that the next boat had a bad experience because of something we did. What I mean is that their perception of the harbor, available facilities and treatment by officials could be the complete opposite of what we and others experienced. Unfortunately we have found that the ugly American is still alive and well. The good news is that they are getting fewer as they become less tolerated in the cruising community.
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Old 20-04-2006, 14:54   #18
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Eugene-
There is a modern tradition of flying the US flag upside down as a protest. I believe this started during the Vietnam years, based on the older (& nautical) tradition that flying the flag upside down is a distress signal.
Supposedly this was originally down long ago (I have no idea who or where) to signal "There's something very wrong here" by someone who was forced to raise a flag in order to show that nothing was wrong.

Non-traditional alternatives might be to fly your state flag, or an older historical US flag. Just make sure of what you are flying, for instance, the US "Bennington" flag is considered a battle flag since it was only flown in battle.
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Old 20-04-2006, 20:50   #19
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I just joined this forum hoping to read and perhaps also write about sailing. So I got into this thread more or less by accident. While I'm not an american it is difficult not to understand your concerns. It seems that your administration is too successful in making you fearful if you get to the point of discussing whether to fly your flag or not. But you are not alone. I met a Danish man the other day on his yacht and he was concerned about flying HIS flag. Maybe you are scratching your head? I did at first.
He reminded me that it was a Danish newspaper that published cartoons of Mohamed which raised violent reactions in Muslim countries some months later when the media picked it up. Therefore this man did not want to be known to be Danish even here in Greece, which is not a Muslim country.
The sad truth is that there are too many people out that there that have had American bombs rainning down on them and could be understood to feel a little vengeful even to the point of taking it out on an individual for what his country did. But I don't think it happens unless you count the American soldiers who are killed daily in Iraq and Afganistan.
In conclusion I would say to Ray to go ahead and sail and fly his flag. In most places he would probably be safer than in the middle of most American cities at night. Certainly here in Greece.
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Old 21-04-2006, 01:14   #20
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thanks for everyones input,
I was thinking about the North African areas mostly, wile were there I will not fly our flag, because I do not want to attract any attenition.
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Old 21-04-2006, 01:52   #21
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pirate North Africa

North African countries are all Muslim and Lybia was bombed by the US - I imagine you know this. On the other hand North African people are generally nice gentle souls and very hospitable. I would not imagine 'the man in the street' would have very strong feelings but then again there are some radical elements too. Not so long ago a busload of Greek tourists were gunned down by some extremists in Egypt as they were mistaken for Israelis. Mybe they should be flying their flag...
I don't want to alarm you but it might be wise to get some guidance from your State Department on this. It would also be useful if you can trace some other American who has actually been there. Another source might be the CIA site which has a lot of information on all countries in the world.
Having said all this nobody could have warned me that I would be the victim of a piracy here in Greece and if anyone did I would not have taken it seriously.
The bottom line is : Good Luck!
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Old 21-04-2006, 09:13   #22
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So American bombs and Danish cartoons are trading at par on the international exchange...hmmmm....what an odd world it has become.

I understand the feeling that my flag may sometimes be mistaken for a bulls-eye but then again there are the benefits of it. Among them, that sometimes it brings up a dialog and that gives people chance to learn that Americans are not all devils, that we do not automatically agree with what our government is doing, and that we are all first and foremost human beings. (Well, maybe not all but most.)

Building bridges has always been dangerous work.
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Old 21-04-2006, 09:54   #23
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I've read about cruisers actually being shot at by people on shore while they were flying the american flag.

I will take this account with a grain of salt, I know most people won't experience this, and it's nothing to really be afraid of if you stay out of the wrong(which most people, not just americans, should stay away from) places.

I was gonna turn this to politics again, but thought better of it, I'll just leave it at, I too disagree with the way this country is run.
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Old 21-04-2006, 16:52   #24
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Flag

Two old guys and an old lady were sitting on a hill as a sailboat from far away sailed into the harbour. They had one pair of binoculars and had to grab them from each other to get a look. There were no flags flying so the old guys were trying to guess where it was from. They anylised the rig, the boat, what they were wearing, the can in one guys hand. They could not decide, could be from France, could be American because no flags were flying, and they new US boats did that. It's from Bermuda said the lady after her turn with the binoculars, but the two guys dismissed her opinion thinking she knew nothing about boats. So the guys went back to studying the boat, what kind of small engine at the transom, the make of the dinghy or the sails but they could not figure it out. It's from Bermuda said the lady again. Finally the two guys relented and asked the lady how she knew it was from Bermuda, " because it is written accross the transom " she said.
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Old 21-04-2006, 17:51   #25
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pirate Yohoho and a bottle of rum

Good story but obviously told by the witty lady herself.
If the boat is sailing in to the harbour the transom would not be visible unless she is sailing backwards. Could be fun..
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I get the point that hellosailor and sluissa - and so many other people here are making - about not agreeing with the way your government is handling things. Most Americans I have met are decent people who would have none of this slaughter.
The cold truth is that your country is not run by your government or even your president. It is the lobbies that pull the strings. And the industrial military lobby is very powerful.
Economy is very important and if ever the US decided on peace your industry would suffer. There would be a serious economic depression.
Even without the oil (in the case of Iraq) being at war is highly lucrative for the US even if it means all those body bags that are daily flown back in.
It is difficult to see how anyone can stop all those people who are producing armaments or working for the military. The whole system would collapse.
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Old 21-04-2006, 22:59   #26
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We've only been in Turkey for a week or so but already have seen more US flagged yachts moored here (a Muslim nation) than in any other Med country we've visited. No-one appears to have an issue with it.

I'd suggest you don't worry about it.
Fly the flag if you feel OK - take it down when you don't.

I think Chuck has it summed up well in the thread. People you meet are going to be more influenced by others they met before than political actions. It really does not matter if you are a US, British, Canadian or any other nationality - if you are a real pain to those you are dealing with - they'll resent it and usually let you know.

There is always going to be a radical minority who may wish to harm others for political reasons, and for sure most Muslims resent the 'west' led by the USA for its actions in the middle east. But putting it all into perspective, most Muslims are far too polite to their overseas guests even to mention it ......... so I suggest you keep off the subject also.

Enjoy your travels

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Old 23-04-2006, 13:19   #27
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There has been a lot of wailing and gnashing of teath, but IMHO , a lack of correct information. For example:
Quote:
As a person and a sailor you can fly whatever flag you want
WRONG

Your vessel must by international treaty wear the maritime flag of the nation of vessel registration - this has nothing whatsoever to do with nationality of skipper or crew.

When you visit a foreign country it is a courtesy to that country to wear their national maritime flag at the Stbd yardarm. Some countries (particularly new or poor countries) get very upset if you fail to do this, and there have even been cases where the vessel was fined. A lot of cruisers with very limited budgets paint these courtesy ensigns using acrylics on a piece of bed sheet but this has to be done with some degree of exactitude and on both sides. It is your decision whether the extra effort is worth the cost!
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Old 23-04-2006, 13:24   #28
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When you visit a foreign country it is a courtesy to that country to wear their national maritime flag at the Stbd yardarm.
Hey Talbot.

Do you mean to fly the foreign countrys' flag from around by the starboard "spreaders"?
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Old 23-04-2006, 13:42   #29
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Officially it is supposed to be the maritime flag (e.g. UK - UK flag in top quarter, rest of flag red).

stbd spreader is the modern equivalent.
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Old 23-04-2006, 14:56   #30
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Ah!!

I figured that one out correctly.

Thank you, Talbot.
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