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Old 30-12-2014, 02:07   #61
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Re: courtesy vs national flag

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Originally Posted by Wotname View Post
OK OK OK, me colours are struck
I was asked to strike my colours once....
Half way through a delivery at a fancy yacht club..... I tied a line between the flagstaff and backstay to dry my rather grey and well worn underwear

Seems a few thought of them as a discourtesy flag.
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Old 30-12-2014, 02:10   #62
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Re: courtesy vs national flag

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Originally Posted by Bulawayo View Post
Sadly, some people think they have the right to behave poorly and to 'insult' other nationalities / authorities by purposely displaying incorrect flags. We have met (luckily just the once) a boat that refused to fly the Q flag and who also flew his courtesy flag lower than his own ensign. It caused a bit of trouble - and unfortunately the next boat 'in' got a real hammering as their Q flag was in tatters and their own cortesy flag was home made. It is just so unnecessary, yet these people insist on 'their right' to behave thus.

I have yet to use my q flag in 30 years of sailing the med the USA , Europe and the Caribbean .

I always fly the courtesy flag on entering the national waters.
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Old 30-12-2014, 02:17   #63
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Re: courtesy vs national flag

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
I have yet to use my q flag in 30 years of sailing the med the USA , Europe and the Caribbean .

I always fly the courtesy flag on entering the national waters.
May have been true where you have sailed, Dave, but the officials in many South Pacific nations get fairly agro if you don't fly the Q flag when appropriate. In New Caledonia, for instance, they insist upon it, and it is even noted in the instructions that they issue via e-mail. And Oz wants it too, and NZed, and IIRC Fiji and Vanuatu.

Perhaps you have been tolerated but not admired by the officials in the countries that you visited... who knows? I find it pretty non-intrusive to follow the guidelines on flag display.

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Old 30-12-2014, 02:39   #64
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courtesy vs national flag

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May have been true where you have sailed, Dave, but the officials in many South Pacific nations get fairly agro if you don't fly the Q flag when appropriate. In New Caledonia, for instance, they insist upon it, and it is even noted in the instructions that they issue via e-mail. And Oz wants it too, and NZed, and IIRC Fiji and Vanuatu.

Perhaps you have been tolerated but not admired by the officials in the countries that you visited... who knows? I find it pretty non-intrusive to follow the guidelines on flag display.

Jim

I would fully expect it to be used where I would be possibly inspected afloat.

In reality flying it as you approach land or a marina. Where you dock and walk to the customs office is actually a misuse of " pratique "

Certainly in the carribean , USA, Europe most customs officials don't even know what the q flag is.

As a test try anchoring in a road with it flying and see if the customs come to visit you by boat.


Dave
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Old 30-12-2014, 02:43   #65
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Re: courtesy vs national flag

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Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
I was asked to strike my colours once....
Half way through a delivery at a fancy yacht club..... I tied a line between the flagstaff and backstay to dry my rather grey and well worn underwear

Seems a few thought of them as a discourtesy flag.
Not sure if this is really funny or really sad but thanks for posting anyway
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Old 30-12-2014, 02:57   #66
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Re: courtesy vs national flag

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
I would fully expect it to be used where I would be possibly inspected afloat.

In reality flying it as you approach land or a marina. Where you dock and walk to the customs office is actually a misuse of " pratique "

Certainly in the carribean , USA, Europe most customs officials don't even know what the q flag is.

As a test try anchoring in a road with it flying and see if the customs come to visit you by boat.


Dave
It may be misuse of practique, but just try not flying it in these countries... and in most of them the officials don't come to the boat at anchor. Of the ones I mentioned, Vanuatu is the only one where they come to the anchored boat... and that is because there are no marina berths available for the clearance process.

And Dave, please note that I was not commenting on practice in the countries that you mention, but on those in the SW Pacific with which I am familiar. The last time I cleared into the USA was in 1987 in Hilo, and it was pretty laid back... no inspection, walked up to the office, apologized that Ann was ill and unable to make the walk up. All was well, and the agent had no idea whether a Q flag was flown or not.

But again, it isn't very hard to fly the damn thing... why aggravate the hosts when it is so easy to comply?

Jim
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Old 30-12-2014, 03:24   #67
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Re: courtesy vs national flag

Not disagreeing with you ,merely commenting on my experience of the " practice ".

I find countries get sensitive about courtesy flags but never about the Q flag.

There are actually many rules and practices yachts should follow, many have fallen out of common use. I would place the Q flag is tar category ( in general ).

Dave
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Old 30-12-2014, 03:55   #68
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Re: courtesy vs national flag

To me the Q flag is a signal flag and a legal necessity to avoid liability if anyone boards without permission before we have been cleared by CQI.

However after a tough delivery in December from Vancouver to San Fran.... I was threatened with a $500 fine because my new courtesy flag was a bit tattered.
After that I just avoid flying them.
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Old 30-12-2014, 04:24   #69
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courtesy vs national flag

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Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
To me the Q flag is a signal flag and a legal necessity to avoid liability if anyone boards without permission before we have been cleared by CQI.

However after a tough delivery in December from Vancouver to San Fran.... I was threatened with a $500 fine because my new courtesy flag was a bit tattered.
After that I just avoid flying them.

There is little evidence that it is a legal necessity, the issue of boarding or allowing someone to leave the vessel, is typically enshrined in statute.

The Q flag to this day, is defined as " my vessel is healthy and I request free pratique ". In SOME countries it's use has been codified to mean that you are requesting custom clearance or that you have not yet received customs clearance. I suspect the use of the Q flag is rarely codified in law to specifically mean customs clearance. Under the International code of signals it is NOT a general request for customs clearance ( it actually relates to health matters)

Even in the UK for example , where it's use is stated, it is merely ONE means of announcing to customs and immigration, that you require to be checked in. ( not all yachts require any checking in ) what the law states is that you must self declare , not that you must fly a funny yellow flag.

As to tattered courtesy flags, that's entirely different , again courtesy flags are rarely enshrined in law. ( many countries have few laws regarding maritime flags) , courtesy flags ate just that " a courtesy ". Of course many countries have laws relating to flying their national flag in the proper way. Including having it in good condition, Greece and Turkey are very keen on maintaining the national flag in good order.

But that has nothing to do with signal flags.


I will fly a Q flag when someone in officialdom points out to me it's the law, I'm still waiting

Note I'm not arguing that one or two countries may have codified its use in law , I'm arguing that the generality haven't and it's original use has fallen put of favour.

For example , I would never enter port without having the courtesy flag flying irrespective of my clearance status. I put up the courtesy immediately upon entering its territorial waters, and remove it when I have left those waters
I do that as it's a " courtesy " , in some areas I will fly regional courtesy flags as well ( note - as well )
Dave


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Old 30-12-2014, 05:13   #70
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Re: courtesy vs national flag

As in many things maritime.... Commonly accepted practices become enshrined in convention and do carry legal weight with the local authorities .
The international signal flag for letter Q also has the IMO meaning...
"My vessel is 'healthy' and I request free pratique."

In other words permission to come ashore

It is also recognised by Customs and Immigration that you require their permission to remove it and I do ask their permission.

Crew are trained NOT to go ashore until that flag is down.... Which helps if you have a large crew eager to get on with shore side business.

I have had ship agents come onboard before CQI and get fined for it.... The ship was not cited BECAUSE we were flying the Q flag
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Old 30-12-2014, 05:36   #71
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Re: courtesy vs national flag

Bermuda is one country that insists that arriving vessels fly the "Q" flag. This is from their very detailed guide for visiting yachts...

Quote:
All vessels should enter St. George’s Harbour flying code
flag ‘Q’ (the yellow quarantine flag) from a conspicuous
position in the rigging and proceed to the H.M. Customs
dock, which is located on the northeast corner of Ordnance
Island. This flag signal should remain hoisted until clearance
has been granted by H.M. Customs.
After we cleared in, the Customs officer said, "Now you may raise the courtesy flag, if you have one." We did have one, and also one for every one of the countries we visited in the eastern Caribbean.

We always raised the Q flag when approaching an anchorage prior to clearing in. I don't know if we'd have been chastised for not doing so, but didn't want to find out.
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Old 30-12-2014, 07:16   #72
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Re: courtesy vs national flag

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Originally Posted by Hud3 View Post
Bermuda is one country that insists that arriving vessels fly the "Q" flag. This is from their very detailed guide for visiting yachts...


After we cleared in, the Customs officer said, "Now you may raise the courtesy flag, if you have one." We did have one, and also one for every one of the countries we visited in the eastern Caribbean.

We always raised the Q flag when approaching an anchorage prior to clearing in. I don't know if we'd have been chastised for not doing so, but didn't want to find out.
I'm sure I've read somewhere, and the Bermuda Customs as mentioned by Hud above seems to back it up, that you don't actually raise the Courtesy ensign UNTIL you have cleared into the country. So, having cleared, I always check with customs that its ok to drop the Q flag then its Down Q, Up Courtesy Ensign. Tony
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Old 30-12-2014, 07:23   #73
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Re: courtesy vs national flag

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Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post
Lassies love diagrams .

Dining table is illustrated complete with chandelier. The host has passed the port to his left. The bottle is clearly moving around the table clockwise .

Carsten and Wottie, are you ready to strike your colours yet?

SWL
Sorry for the thread drift again, but I cannot allow lassie to think I have struck my colours (by the way lassie, one only "strikes one's colours" when conceding (surrendering) the battle. Now, if you truly were on the floor legs akimo etc, I would suggest that it was you who had "struck your colours" although some ladies have been know to continue the battle even after that point

But looking at your wonderful drawing, I still submit that the port was passed to starboard. Everyone knows that in aviation (and marine) terminology 12 o'clock is at the front (bow) of the boat. Think "bandits at 2 o'clock!"

So you host was at the twelve o'clock position passing the port to the gentleman at the 1 o'clock position meaning he was passing the port to starboard. The host always sits at the head of the table (the twelve o'clock position).

You are, of course, forgiven for this misunderstanding since you come fro ZO which is down under and where everything is reversed. (including OZ , above spelled ZO).

We would, naturally, be interested in hearing the further chapters of exactly what happened after you hit (fell down, transitioned, sunk, took a dive) to the floor with your appendages akimbo

Did you strike your colours? continue the battle?

Perhaps you were a bit p*ssed at not getting any port or you had partaken of the port and therefore were p*ssed and a little cross-eyed?

Sadly, I have not been p*ssed on port lately (I guess I just don't have any degenerate enough friends).

However, in an effort to bring the thread back on track I will say that I always fly the yellow flag (I am disease free and desire free access) when approaching ladies. If invited closer I then fly any courtesy flag they so desire (I'm a friendly type of guy)


ON a serious note - flying the correct courtesy flag is simply a matter of being polite - you're asking to come into someone's ouse and by flying it showing the proper respect.
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Old 30-12-2014, 07:28   #74
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Re: courtesy vs national flag

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I'm sure I've read somewhere, and the Bermuda Customs as mentioned by Hud above seems to back it up, that you don't actually raise the Courtesy ensign UNTIL you have cleared into the country. So, having cleared, I always check with customs that its ok to drop the Q flag then its Down Q, Up Courtesy Ensign. Tony

What I was trying to make the point, is that while some countries have made specific codification involving the Q flag, most have not, even where they may have a published "practice".

No more then recently when I was reminded that I was flying my ensign after dark, I was ticked off for doing so. I reminded the person rocking me off, the rules for the wearing of this particular countries ensign, required no such action.

We sometimes mix up custom & practice with actual laws. ( and so do some authorities )


Dave
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Old 30-12-2014, 07:29   #75
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Re: courtesy vs national flag

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Yeah, Wottie,

...and I'm lurking
Well Ann- lurking in this discussion will do you no good.

Lassie by definition is a Lady (as are you by definition), so we "gentlemen" should, of course, not make any effort to correct her.

We are, the above notwithstanding, interested in hearing another Lady's opinion (not of the Ladylikeness of falling from the chandelier to the floor and ending up with skirts flying and lower appendages akimbo - a Lady may do whatever she likes) No- the important question here is:

Was the port being passed to port or starboard?

We await your judgement
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