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Old 18-11-2014, 16:27   #1
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Courtesy Flags in US territories?

Our boat is USCG documented. When we visit Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands, should we fly the "local island" flags?

Thanks,

John
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Old 18-11-2014, 16:33   #2
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Re: Courtesy Flags in US territories?

If you have to check in with Customs and Immigration when you arrive, then the answer is yes.

I would do it anyway. It shows respect to the place and people you are visiting.

We visit Canada a lot and I have the biggest Maple Leaf I could find flying from the starboard spreader. The locals appreciate the courtesy.

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Old 18-11-2014, 16:39   #3
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Re: Courtesy Flags in US territories?

What would be a fair price per flag for a set of courtesy flags? The ones I've seen in WM or some chandleries are outrageously expensive. Any place which may sell used ones? I was thinking of getting a set for the Carribean at some point.
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Old 18-11-2014, 16:41   #4
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Re: Courtesy Flags in US territories?

No one ever is criticized for honouring a host country, so I'd say sure, do it.Costs little, might lead to nice interaction with the locals.

Jim
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Old 18-11-2014, 16:50   #5
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Re: Courtesy Flags in US territories?

IslandTime025,

Well you can make them. Buy a flag book or download the flags of the nations of the world, including the US territories you want to visit. Sometimes one can scrounge spinnaker cloth scraps from one's sailmaker, stuff they're going to discard anyway, depends on your relationship with them. Carry some dye to color the fiddly bits.
It's kind of fun.

Ann
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Old 18-11-2014, 16:54   #6
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Re: Courtesy Flags in US territories?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Island Time O25 View Post
What would be a fair price per flag for a set of courtesy flags? The ones I've seen in WM or some chandleries are outrageously expensive. Any place which may sell used ones? I was thinking of getting a set for the Carribean at some point.
Google for international stick flags. They are made of cheap nylon and last one month in strong trade winds and 2-3 months otherwise. They cost $1-2, so you can buy them for all the countries you think you may ever visit, and several for the countries you know you will be staying a bit in.

These are all we ever use. Been out cruising for over 6 years now and don't have more than ~$40 invested in flags. Even the highest quality expensive ones are only good for 2-3 months in strong trade winds.

Alternatively, you can make your own flags with colored fabric scraps and fabric paint pens.

But did I mention that the stick flags only cost a buck?

Mark
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Old 18-11-2014, 17:08   #7
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Re: Courtesy Flags in US territories?

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Google for international stick flags.
Great! Thanks for the info. We have a couple of pitiful looking Bahamas courtesy flags aboard. They sure don't last long, considering WM charges 20 bucks for one.

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Old 18-11-2014, 17:09   #8
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Re: Courtesy Flags in US territories?

Thanks all for advice. Why didn't I think of that?

I can probably find scraps in goodwill store or some such and just stitch them into flags. With online wiki one can probably get all the flags needed. That sounds like a fun winter project.
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Old 18-11-2014, 17:58   #9
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Re: Courtesy Flags in US territories?

It probably goes without saying, but remove the stick from the stick flags. I just string a piece of small line through the flag where the stick was and put a single lock stitch on each end. When the flag is done, I cut the lock stitch and use the line again for the next flag.

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Old 18-11-2014, 19:07   #10
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Re: Courtesy Flags in US territories?

When visiting a war prize, like Puerto Rico, shouldn't the victor and possessor be entitled to fly...the triumphant flag of their own nation?


Really, they voted to keep their status as a war prize instead of statehood. Both logic and courtesy would have me fly a NJ flag when visiting from NY before flying the flag of a conquered and subjugated territory.
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Old 18-11-2014, 19:16   #11
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Re: Courtesy Flags in US territories?

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When visiting a war prize, like Puerto Rico, shouldn't the victor and possessor be entitled to fly...the triumphant flag of their own nation?


Really, they voted to keep their status as a war prize instead of statehood. Both logic and courtesy would have me fly a NJ flag when visiting from NY before flying the flag of a conquered and subjugated territory.
Wow! With an attitude like that you will surely have wonderful, friendly interactions with the local people...NOT!

Jim
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Old 18-11-2014, 19:29   #12
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Re: Courtesy Flags in US territories?

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Wow! With an attitude like that you will surely have wonderful, friendly interactions with the local people...NOT!

Jim
You beat me to it. Let's hope he was just joking.

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Old 18-11-2014, 19:52   #13
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Re: Courtesy Flags in US territories?

Only half joking.

I wouldn't cruise on in and say "We own you" but then again...

I certainly don't think they have done anything to earn the status of a sovereign nation, much less a semi-sovereign State.

That was their choice. And is their choice.

The flag of a war prize? Flies as a courtesy in itself. A courtesy from the victor, to the spoils. The Spanish American War was a long time ago, sure. And capitalists have had a good time in the war prizes. But after a hundred years or so, to vote to keep that status, and not join the grown-ups at the grown-up dinner table after you've been invited?

As my old friend Bill Shakespeare said, and Plutarch before him, a spade is a spade. If they ever vote for Statehood, I certainly won't fly a courtesy flag. That's one step UP from what PR is now. If they ever become a nation, then and only then do they earn the right to courtesy flags.
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Old 18-11-2014, 19:55   #14
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Re: Courtesy Flags in US territories?

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Originally Posted by Feral Cement View Post
Our boat is USCG documented. When we visit Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands, should we fly the "local island" flags?
Good question. Strictly according to the rules, the courtesy flag you fly is the merchant marine flag of the country you're visiting. In the United States the national flag, merchant marine flag and navy flag are the same. In the UK they are different. The national flag is the Union flag, the merchant marine is the red ensign and the Navy flag is the blue ensign. So, strictly speaking, you don't fly any courtesy ensign because your ensign at your stern is their merchant marine ensign too.

In practice, flag flying is a little loose for yachties, to say the least, which is a good thing. Fly the flags of the PR and USVI. In the British Virgin Islands, while it's therefore proper to fly the British red ensign, same thing, fly it or the BVI flag.
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Old 19-11-2014, 13:27   #15
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Re: Courtesy Flags in US territories?

Flag etiquette is like table manners, some people have them others do not!
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