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Old 17-01-2011, 18:50   #1
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Can I Fly a State Flag ?

I'm from Alaska, my boat is registered and at port in St Martin. I'll fly a St Martin flag from the mast / flag halyard, but can I fly the Alaskan flag at the stern without stepping over some boundary that I shouldn't?
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Old 17-01-2011, 19:02   #2
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The stern is reserved for the national ensign. The optional state flag should be flown from the mast, and if no mast, on the bow staff.
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Old 17-01-2011, 21:10   #3
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St. Martin flag goes either on the stern flagstaff, or 2/3 the way up the leech of the aft most sail. This is where a flag would have flown from a gaff rigged boat as a place of honor.
Yf you fly the St. Martin flag from this position, in theory you gould fly the Alaska flag under it.
When leaving or entering ports in the USA, I fly from my mizzen in order,
TOP US FLAG
NEXT TEXAS FLAG
BOTTOM POW-MIA FLAG
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Old 18-01-2011, 13:47   #4
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And absolutely no white shoes after Labor Day, ever!
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Old 18-01-2011, 14:06   #5
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Unicorn Dreams sounds like he has the scoop.

Not to hijack the thread, but has anyone outcruising noticed that except for Texas, and sometimes North Carolina and Maryland, almost no one else flys their state flag? In our last 3 years of cruising, we cruised the entire Gulf coast, Bahamas, and US east coast in every state south of Maine and noticed that state flags were often just not flown (except Texas boats, who sometimes fly the Lone Star in lieu of the national ensign, and almost never fail to fly the state flag).

My yankee bride/admiral refuses to allow our Texas flag to be as large as the US flag, and of course it flys below the US flag. Except, of course, when we haul out the 3 X 5 Texas flag for special occasions (which can include being anchored anywhere near Cape Cod).

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Old 18-01-2011, 14:09   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 97fxdwg View Post
I'm from Alaska, my boat is registered and at port in St Martin. I'll fly a St Martin flag from the mast / flag halyard, but can I fly the Alaskan flag at the stern without stepping over some boundary that I shouldn't?
Thanks-
Flying the St. Martin flag from the mast will create confusion. That's appropriate for a foreign yacht in St. Martin waters after it has cleared customs. This is called a courtesy flag. Since your registry is from St. Martin, it's more appropriate to fly the St. Martin ensign from your stern while the boat is in home waters.
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Old 18-01-2011, 14:18   #7
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Unicorn Dreams sounds like he has the scoop.

Not to hijack the thread, but has anyone outcruising noticed that except for Texas, ...
Probably has something to do with Texas being its own country for nine years.
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Old 18-01-2011, 14:31   #8
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Saw a French boat last summer with an EU ensign at the stern that had a small tri-color in the upper-left corner. That's a nice solution to the state flag dilemna, isn't it?

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Old 18-01-2011, 14:37   #9
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I have flown both North Carolina and Czech flags, but never from the stern of the vessel. Still US Flag there. But, I believe it is all convention. I don't recall reading any Col regs that require the flying of flags. You can still be boarded by a military/coast guard flag if they have bigger guns than you. Maybe even if they don't! (In the case of some Texans!)
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Old 18-01-2011, 16:57   #10
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A courtesy flag is flown from the starboard spreader on a sailboat , any other position dishonors the flag...
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Old 18-01-2011, 17:11   #11
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According to Chapman Piloting 62nd edition a state flag is flown at the main masthead. On a mastless boat, the state flag can be flown from the bow staff or may replace any flag flown from a suitable radio antenna.
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Old 19-01-2011, 22:37   #12
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We have friends who flew their Texas Flag for a while. An early morning boarding in the islands by a group of armed-to-the-teeth police made them re-think that habit.
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Old 19-01-2011, 22:43   #13
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We have friends who flew their Texas Flag for a while. An early morning boarding in the islands by a group of armed-to-the-teeth police made them re-think that habit.
By any chance was that in Mexican waters!/
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Old 19-01-2011, 22:45   #14
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By any chance was that in Mexican waters!/
Nope! But, the Texas flag and the Chilean flag are VERY similar. So similar that we had a restaurant north of us called "Texas 46" that had a Chilean flag on their menu instead of a Texas flag!
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Old 19-01-2011, 22:54   #15
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We fly our Texas flag on a halyard on the port spreader of the mainmast. Obviously the courtesy flag for current country is flown on the starboard halyard and ensign on the stern flagstaff. In the OP's situation, the St. Martin flag would be the ensign -- regardless of whether sailing in St. Martin home waters or anywhere else. The country of registry or documentation is ALWAYS the ensign.

Other state flags we have seen during our 5 years cruising halfway round the globe have been Vermont, Colorado, California and Alaska. But Texas flags far out number all other states combined.

FWIW, the EU flag is not recognized for maritime use. Boats from the EU are supposed to fly the ensign for their individual country of registration. But we have often seen the EU flag flown from a port halyard off the mainmast, just as we fly our State of Texas flag. Seems reversed to me. USA boats fly the Stars & Stripes as the ensign and optional state flag on port spreader; yet the EU boats are supposed to fly their individual country flag as the ensign and an optional EU flag on port spreader.

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