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Old 14-12-2007, 20:05   #16
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I frequently read about the so-called Q-flag in the context of arriving in the first harbour of a new country. I understand it has to do with customs clearance, but I have never picked up what is actually this famous flag everybody is referring to? How does it look, when and where should it be flown etc.

I would be thankful for any information that can enlighten me and may be keep me out of trouble in upcoming cruising! ;-)
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Old 14-12-2007, 20:37   #17
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Solid yellow, goes on the starboard yard arm / spreader. It's to signify that you're ready to go through customs / clearence. It's Latin for "forty days", because that's how long certain ships had to sit isolated in the harbor before unloading during times of the black plague.

Quarantine Flag

Quarantine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 15-12-2007, 11:50   #18
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a) Flag of country that the boat is registered in on the stern.

Purpose: to identify the country of ship registration and the regulations she sails under and to easily identify her and warn the locals whether she be a "Johnny Foreigner" vessel .

b) NATIONAL "Courtesy Flag" of the country you are visiting from Starboard crosstrees (Note that this flag is a small version of the Foreign countries maritime ensign - i.e when visiting the UK the "Courtesy Flag" is a mini Red Ensign, NOT a Union Jack / Flag).

Purpose: It's a "Courtesy" and in maritime communities is looked on as being a good thing. It says "I know I am a visitor, but I deliberately chose to come and visit and beforehand I put a little time and effort in and I want to be freinds". Think of it the same as offering a handshake when meeting someone new, you do not have to always do so, and of course not doing so does not mean you will not later become freinds - it is just a polite way to start.

It is also a visible acknowledgement that the captain of the vessel accepts he is no longer SOLELY operating under the law of the vessel's country of origin nor is on the high seas. (Note that not flying a Courtesy Flag does not mean the boat is magically still in Kansas (or Milton Keynes ) for legal purposes......no matter what the country of origin or the passport of the Captain )......and from my (non boat) experiances in the 3rd world locals tend to be a bit touchy about due respect being given to their flag.........Union Jack style underpants just won't wash for the flags of some countries .....and especially if (when?!) visiting the 3rd world by boat (i.e. places like England ) I would fly their Courtesy Flag as a matter of course.

c) REGIONAL "Courtesy Flag" - flown just under the national Courtesy Flag (only the other way around if it is a region where the locals shoot at the National Gov't........and are winning ). Examples would be when visiting France - we always fly the Breton or Norman flags.......and over the years we have had a few favourable comments (people do not rush up and hug us! - just that in some parts of the world regional identity is as important as national (often it is older!) and IME foreigners appreciating the difference always goes down well).

The country of origin / passport of the Captain or crew is simply irrelevent when it comes to the boat - excepting that some foreign passport holders do get treated better as people than others and as a side effect so may the boat.
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Old 15-12-2007, 14:51   #19
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Keeping the locals friendly....

I've wondered if the effect on the locals of a large country of origin flag flying from the stern of a cruising yacht might not be quite the one desired.

Quite a few of the citizenry of some countries don't have fond memories of the British and to have a large red ensign shoved in their face is not going to provoke warm fuzzy feelings.

The same could go for the flag of a large country located just north of Mexico.

I know it's just not done (and probably illegal) but flying the flag of the country being visited from the stern might get the approval of some of the locals.

Or fly the local flag on the starboard halyard and forget the country of origin flag.
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Old 15-12-2007, 15:05   #20
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I've never had any problems flying a US flag. Never had any problems (three countries on a private boat, many more on a us warship), although if you get into a conversation invariably the question comes up of "so what do you think about [insert current us president here]?".

I fly the US flag with pride, and regard it as a great oppurtunity to show people that not all Americans are fat war mongers who need to yell and wear skimpy clothing all the time.
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Old 15-12-2007, 16:16   #21
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Who would have thought that
Quote:
Americans are fat war mongers
, and I could understand why you
Quote:
Never had any problems
if you were on an
Quote:
us warship
I wouldnt mess with you either.

Dave
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Old 15-12-2007, 16:44   #22
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Hmmmm

This one might not be the best idea:
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Old 15-12-2007, 17:51   #23
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Originally Posted by slomotion View Post
Hmmmm

This one might not be the best idea:
I think it is one of those things where size is important .

But on a serious note, some countries do have image problems in various parts of the world (whether fairly or unfairly is often a matter of view point - but generally (??!!) never the direct result of the actions of an individual visiting with a yacht - on that I am taking the 5th ).........and IMO it is up to the visitor to make the effort to be nice and try and leave a good impression.

IMO flying your 20 foot national flag on a visiting yacht means the same as a 1 fingered salute to the host nationals.
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Old 15-12-2007, 21:34   #24
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Just curious to stay on theme here. We were thinking about perhaps picking up the boat in France (where it's made) and sailing it back slowly. I would want to do the shakedown cruise for at least 6 months in the MED and then perhaps head towards the US and then where ever.

In this scenario, since the boat hasn't found an official home yet or registered yet, in transit, how do the flags work then? Would the flag then fly under our passport origin??

Thanks in advance, cheers!!
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Old 15-12-2007, 21:59   #25
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Geez, a flag this big is just obnoxious. But Americans rarely follow flag etiquette. For example, you're not supposed to wear Old Glory as a piece of clothing, but tons of Americans do it. They either don't know or don't care about the proper rules, and don't see it as disrespectful. I'm sure this person just considers themselves very patriotic, but to other people it appears obnoxious.
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Old 15-12-2007, 22:52   #26
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I think that boat would be a BIG target in some places of the world

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Old 15-12-2007, 23:41   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liberty16 View Post


Geez, a flag this big is just obnoxious. But Americans rarely follow flag etiquette. For example, you're not supposed to wear Old Glory as a piece of clothing, but tons of Americans do it. They either don't know or don't care about the proper rules, and don't see it as disrespectful. I'm sure this person just considers themselves very patriotic, but to other people it appears obnoxious.
I think it would be fine for the Fourth of July in US waters.
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Old 15-12-2007, 23:46   #28
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Originally Posted by shadow View Post
Just curious to stay on theme here. We were thinking about perhaps picking up the boat in France (where it's made) and sailing it back slowly. I would want to do the shakedown cruise for at least 6 months in the MED and then perhaps head towards the US and then where ever.

In this scenario, since the boat hasn't found an official home yet or registered yet, in transit, how do the flags work then? Would the flag then fly under our passport origin??

Thanks in advance, cheers!!
I would get it documented before the transit so there is less possible trouble from whatever authorities you encounter. Your kinda setting yourself up for trouble. Why take the chance?
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Old 16-12-2007, 00:17   #29
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I totally agree DavidM, we are planning on having more then enough paperwork to make sure that everything is beyond legal. We are not naive enough to believe that we can just sail off and hope for the best!!

We will have everything documented but I was just curious about which flags to use around the MED as well as when we were underway since it will be in transit towards its real home.

Cheers!!
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Old 16-12-2007, 01:54   #30
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picking up the boat in France In this scenario, since the boat hasn't found an official home yet or registered yet,
yes it is. you register the boat when you buy it. it doesn't matter where its built or where you buy it every country allows you to register a boat when the boat is overseas, as long as you are a citizen etc.
Search Google for the relevant info for your country.
then when your boat splashes in you stick your own flag of registry
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