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Old 25-07-2014, 15:33   #16
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Re: Cheap Courtesy Flags

Apparently the US Post Office considers Puerto Rico a territory, at least in their publication, The Domestic Mail Manual:

2.1 Definition of “Domestic”

[3-3-14] Domestic mail is mail transmitted within, among, and between the United States of America, its territories and possessions, Army Post Offices (APOs), Fleet Post Offices (FPOs), Diplomatic Post Offices (DPO), and the United Nations, NY. For this standard, the term “territories and possessions” comprises the following:
American Samoa
Manua Island, Swain’s Island, Tutuila Island
Guam
Northern Mariana Islands, Commonwealth of the
Rota Island, Saipan Island, Tinian Island
Puerto Rico, Commonwealth of
U.S. Virgin Islands
St. Croix Island, St. John Island,
St. Thomas Island

Wake Atoll
Wake Island
2.2 Mail Treated as Domestic

[3-3-14] Mail originating in the United States of America, its territories and possessions, APOs, FPOs, DPOs, and the United Nations, NY, for delivery in the Freely Associated States, and mail originating in the Freely Associated States for delivery within, among, and between the Freely Associated States and the United States of America, its territories and possessions, APOs, FPOs, DPOs, and the United Nations, NY, is treated as if it were domestic mail. The term “Freely Associated States” comprises the following:
Marshall Islands, Republic of the
Ebeye Island
Kwajalein Island
Majuro Island

Micronesia, Federated States of
Chuuk (Truk) Island
Kosrae Island
Pohnpei Island
Yap Island
Palau, Republic of
Koror Island
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Old 25-07-2014, 16:00   #17
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Re: Cheap Courtesy Flags

Good Grief.. didn't take long for this to descend into the battle of the pedants.

OP simply wanted a guide to an economical way to comply not a lesson in geopolitical history.

As for the PR, when we checked in, we were checked by USA CBP officers, we were required to have a USA B1/B2 visa and to be in possession a current USA cruising permit.

So under those circumstance tell me again why I should not fly a USA courtesy flag in PR?

zboss - if you're a non-US flagged vessel, not having the CF Yacht Club Commodore's idea of the "proper" courtesy flag is the least of your worries. Make sure you comply with the CBP requirements first.
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Old 25-07-2014, 16:10   #18
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Re: Cheap Courtesy Flags

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Good Grief.. didn't take long for this to descend into the battle of the pedants. ...
When one starts a conversation, one never know where it will head.
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Old 25-07-2014, 17:22   #19
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Re: Cheap Courtesy Flags

If yours is a US flagged vessel visiting a US territory or possession, you do not need to fly a courtesy flag at all. Your normal ensign is enough. If yours is a non US flagged vessel, the proper courtesy flag when visiting a US territory or possession is the US flag.

If yours is a US flagged vessel or a non US flagged vessel visiting a country which is a freely associated State under US protection, you should probably fly that country's courtesy flag.
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Old 25-07-2014, 17:34   #20
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Re: Cheap Courtesy Flags

Astrid is consistent with my beliefs, especially since no one challenged or commented on my earlier post.
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Old 25-07-2014, 17:38   #21
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Re: Cheap Courtesy Flags

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Originally Posted by Astrid View Post
Puerto Rico Government
Welcome to Puerto Rico! History, Government, Geography, and Culture.

I am not a Spanish speaker, so cannot read the official webpage you quote.
Astrid,

Thank you for clarifying the source. That ".org" site is not the site of the Puerto Rican government.
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Old 25-07-2014, 18:17   #22
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Re: Cheap Courtesy Flags

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Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
If I owned a commercial tanker or container ship with the home port of San Juan, Puerto Rico, would the ship fly a U.S. flag or a Puerto Rican flag (ensign, not courtesy)? The answer would guide me on whether a Puerto Rican courtesy flag would be necessary for a U.S.-registered boat in PR waters.
You are referring to a US-reg boat and I agree on the the thought process that leads to the conclusion that it may not be "necessary" to fly a courtesy flag. Moreover, if the US took the effort to take Puerto Rico by force as a part of a big exercise many years ago, some Americans (including probably federal LEOs) would frown upon flying a courtesy flag just to be "courteous" to the locals. Still, that does not change how many locals will see you. On a non-US boat then there is not risk of being seen as a "traitor" to your own country and there is no downside to flying the local flag.

When I arrive as a British citizen on a British-flagged boat in one of those former British colonies I make a point of flying a proper local courtesy flag (eg BVI) instead of just the Red Ensign that in the eyes of *some* is a symbol of British imperialism that they see as a bad thing. The flags are very similar but the topic has come up in conversation with locals frequently enough that my mind is made up. I am not embarrassed by anything in history, I am just sensitive to the locals while I am in their place. If this was 1850 and we had not told them they are free I would probably behave differently!

You may be more concerned about what is "necessary"; I may be more concerned about showing "courtesy" to the locals. That is what freedom is for!

All that said, I speak several languages and have helped "only English" sailors sort out their bureaucratic problems in various places like Uruguay, Brazil, the Galápagos and the Canaries. This includes people who made up their own problems in a foreign land by applying their own rules to define how the locals should treat them instead of the other way around. I have never paid a bribe even when the person with the problems thought a bribe was the only way out. I can assure you the experience has shaped how I deal with any of these things!

Fair winds
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Old 25-07-2014, 19:39   #23
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Re: Cheap Courtesy Flags

Foreign ships observed in the U.S. State of California waters display a U.S. courtesy flag, not a California flag, except for Princess Lines (and perhaps other cruise lines) which displays both U.S. and state flags.



Therefore, I'd expect a foreign ship in Puerto Rican waters to also display a U.S. courtesy flag. Similarly, there would be no need for a U.S. documented/registered boat to display a courtesy flag in Puerto Rican (U.S.) waters.
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Old 25-07-2014, 19:47   #24
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Re: Cheap Courtesy Flags

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Originally Posted by svlamorocha View Post
That statament does not pass the Geography exam in those places where that is required.. Puerto Rico is not a "territory" like the USVI. It is an "Associated Free State" with its own national flag. Some Puerto Ricans will not be amused about this confusion..



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Really? Every Puerto Rican I ever knew was emphatically an American.


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Old 28-07-2014, 21:10   #25
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Re: Cheap Courtesy Flags

Wow, now I know why they call it a "courtesy flag".


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Old 10-09-2014, 11:46   #26
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Re: Cheap Courtesy Flags

Fly the Isle of Dominica or Jamaican flag. I dare Ya! ...:-)
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Old 10-09-2014, 12:25   #27
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Re: Cheap Courtesy Flags

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Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
Therefore, I'd expect a foreign ship in Puerto Rican waters to also display a U.S. courtesy flag. Similarly, there would be no need for a U.S. documented/registered boat to display a courtesy flag in Puerto Rican (U.S.) waters.
Quick bit of trivia in that regard. The only two US states to have their own "ensign" (or maritime flag since a US state can't have a flag "of national character")? Massachusetts and Maine. No doubt some sort of holdover from the brief pre-federal days when they were basically a union of nation states.
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Old 10-09-2014, 15:45   #28
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Re: Cheap Courtesy Flags

Go to your sailmaker and see if s/he will let you raid their bin of spinnaker cloth bits that are waste from the sails. Offer to make a token payment, if it seems appropriate. We made all our courtesy flags from that fabric, for years. Now, lazily, I buy them. Some of us used to sew them by hand, on passages. As we were given the fabric, our only cost was the thread. Now that's cheap!

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Old 10-09-2014, 17:01   #29
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Re: Cheap Courtesy Flags

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Originally Posted by zboss View Post
Does anyone have a recommendation on where to order courtesy flags on the cheap?

We need the DR, PR, and USVI.
We have bought or been gifted, many from Landfall. Some affordable, some ridiculous. Many flags on board when we bought the boat were hand made by crayon on suitable material. OK if your artistic skills pass. I've always wondered if local purchase was better priced.

thanks so much for the link to stick flags. Much better option unless you are planning to collect mementos.
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Old 10-09-2014, 17:14   #30
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Re: Cheap Courtesy Flags

We got ours here: International Stick Flags 12 x 18 inch

Just cheap 12'x18' flags on a stick with the sticks removed...They last long enough. Bought the entire Caribbean and now the Med. You never know where you'll end-up, and at $2.30 apiece, why not buy it all?

Matt

Edit: I see Mark and I are flag buddies!
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