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Old 22-04-2015, 12:26   #16
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Re: Offshore With No Flag Flying

While in the Merchant Marine, I sailed across the Pacific and into a cat III typhoon. We had the country flag flying on the stern.
Looking out the windows from the crew's mess, we could see the flag getting smaller minute by minute from flapping violently in the wind and after half an hour there was nothing left.
Extreme case for sure, but sun and wind will destroy a flag so there is no reason to fly one in the middle of nowhere.
Sailing the Bahamas many times with the courtesy flag in the spreaders, I have seen it deteriorate slowly but surely and have bought new ones every few years.
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Old 22-04-2015, 13:03   #17
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Re: Offshore With No Flag Flying

Hickory dickory dock,
a sailor stepped on my ....,
I grabbed a small cannoball,
and broke his big mandible,
and now that poor sailor is dead

I'm not a poet and don't know it
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Old 22-04-2015, 13:05   #18
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Re: Offshore With No Flag Flying

I bleive most contries require yachts to flytheir national flag unless they are competing in a race. Certainly Denmark, sweden, norway and germany do. Off the top of my head all european countries do

Personally I proud to fly my Danneborg off the stern
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Old 22-04-2015, 13:09   #19
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Re: Offshore With No Flag Flying

I always furled my US flag when sailing offshore--less wear and tear. I'd unfurl it once inside territorial waters of the destination.
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Old 22-04-2015, 13:34   #20
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Re: Offshore With No Flag Flying

Flags cost money. Which is part of the reason that ships, especially those moving at higher speeds, don't "waste" them in the middle of nowhere.


zeehag-
You might want to consider that there are many, many flags accepted as legal flags of your country. Some, especially, represent the STATE and not the GOVERNMENT. The two are not the same.
Which is one reason I have to ask if the USN is totally nuts, for flying a rattlesnake revolutionary flag instead of a proper national one, from the current (second) US nation. (That's a rhetorical question.)
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Old 22-04-2015, 13:35   #21
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Re: Offshore With No Flag Flying

Quote:
Originally Posted by four winds View Post
Thanks for the feedback everyone.

To be more specific, I'm curious about the US flag being flown near shore while coastal cruising. Or crossing from Apalachacola to Tarpon Springs and around the Keys.

If not flying the flag, is that an open invitation to a USCG boarding experience?
As long as you aren't sailing a raft made from 55 gal. drums you have no problem or a go fast boat. If they should ask to come aboard so what? Be glad they are there.
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Old 22-04-2015, 13:55   #22
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Re: Offshore With No Flag Flying

Responses are sorta all over the place, including obtuse poetry and misguided assumptions. Which is fine by me.

More clarification:

The coasties are welcome aboard my boat anytime. I'm glad they are out there.

Recently replaced my worn flag and keep it covered more now. I've been wondering if I should have a spare in case off loss overboard. And the umarked stern plays into my thinking as well.

Just wondering about compliance with the regs and not wanting to be profiled negatively if I was boarded.
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Old 22-04-2015, 13:58   #23
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Re: Offshore With No Flag Flying

Cadence...et all...since my take on this was that it is about flags and the law. I was adopting the principle of Arthur Conan Doyle author of sherlock holmes.

"eliminate the impossible and what you have left is the probable facts"

Clearly there seems to be no readily available standard international law concerning the flying of national flags. So I intended to point out what you are NOT allowed to fly on the open ocean...as in Pirate flags in any form and take it from there.

So perhaps it is all about how interested one is with being in keeping with maritime tradition and exercising personal choice? Some people are proud of the country they came from, became a citizen of, or registered their vessel with. While unfortunately some citizens from the USA I have met recently have expressed dissatisfaction with their government at the moment: for whatever reason. So I suggest it all comes down to common sense? plus where you are geographically speaking at the time. After all flying a stars and stripes of the coast of Somalia in particular might not be so smart?

However in most cases when dealing with Coast Guard, customs & Revenue, and national navies I would think it would be prudent to be rather upfront about who you are, where from and where bound. Even if there is no clear law on the books applicable to you: forcing you to do so?
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Old 22-04-2015, 14:10   #24
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Re: Offshore With No Flag Flying

Quote:
Originally Posted by four winds View Post
Responses are sorta all over the place, including obtuse poetry and misguided assumptions. Which is fine by me.

More clarification:

The coasties are welcome aboard my boat anytime. I'm glad they are out there.

Recently replaced my worn flag and keep it covered more now. I've been wondering if I should have a spare in case off loss overboard. And the umarked stern plays into my thinking as well.

Just wondering about compliance with the regs and not wanting to be profiled negatively if I was boarded.
An unmarked stern, name, may raise a concern if documented since without state no.s it is required. For what it is worth?
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Old 22-04-2015, 14:30   #25
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Re: Offshore With No Flag Flying

the rattle snake "dont tread on me" is a perfectly appropriate flag for our day and time as we desperately need...... but that is another story. i dont fly a flag except that of the nation i am visiting.
if and when i am in international waters, should i be approached i will advise sweetly the officials of who and what i am.
slow ketches usually dont have problems unless water line is soooo changed as to exhibit signs of smuggling. i do not so do.
btw..my families from whch i sprang were in the group included in founding usa. one a third cousin , tried to sell west point after losing a leg in saratoga battlefield.
yes my family has a right to fly that,but i prefer to silently sail and cruise without a lot of problem, hence my refusal to use us flag while sailing .
thankyou.
and, no, i do not need someone elses permission to fly wtf flag at wtf time.
i comply with nation of whom i am a guest.
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Old 22-04-2015, 14:42   #26
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Re: Offshore With No Flag Flying

The way I see it.

I would have to hire 3 retired BM's in order to maintain standard customs and protocol.
1. This one would have to sound bells every half hour as well as announce via Pipe, announcements.
2. This one would handled the colors astern.
3. This one would handle the Jack and underway colors. In a pinch I guess a SM could fill this position.

It's not the pay, but the Grog allocation that would bankrupt me.

So, in light of that, guess I'll just try and assign the Admiral the responsibility of handling the proper flag protocol. Under direct supervision, of course.

If you follow the customs part of flag protocol, ( goggle if need be ) it isn't a law that I'm aware of but respect by authorities goes along way.

Crusty
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Old 22-04-2015, 15:13   #27
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Re: Offshore With No Flag Flying

I do not know of any reg,s however I always fly my flag, US, everything my boat leaves the slip....
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Old 22-04-2015, 15:27   #28
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Re: Offshore With No Flag Flying

Just to keep it going. Is there still a yacht man's ensign? And when is it flown.
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Old 22-04-2015, 15:39   #29
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Re: Offshore With No Flag Flying

Inshore : I believe you should fly your flag all the time in any territorial waters, although some/many countries tolerate that you do not fly your flag in your own national waters. But in waters of a foreign country you should. As a rule of thumb there should not be any courtesy flag flying without national colours.

Offshore : It is my understanding that you do not need to fly any flag once beyond the territorial waters. However, if you happen to meet another boat, both should display their colours.

To me this sounds like both a respectful etiquette and something making sense. Let us not forget that rules made for ships of old which mention when in or out of a port is equivalent to todays territorial waters and international waters : it means when ships are subject to local regulation when on approach or when they are not yet or no more once clear of the harbour. For us yachts more often sailing along coastlines, we are subject to local regulation whenever in territorial waters, so flags should generally be flown then. Once offshore, save the canvas !
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Old 22-04-2015, 16:41   #30
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Re: Offshore With No Flag Flying

There is still a yacht ensign, though it is no longer recognised by the US congress. The Congress recognised the yacht ensign from 1848 to 1980. Several states have officially recognized it, as has the USCG aux, but only for use in US waters. In international or foreign waters, the flag is the required signal. Though no longer official, the yacht ensign may be saluted when boarding a vessel.
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