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Old 23-10-2007, 20:58   #1
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Flag Etiquette

I believe the flag of the country the boat is registered in flys at the stern, the flag of the country you are in flys on the starboard spreader, but if the captain/skipper is from a third country does he fly that flag and
where?


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Old 23-10-2007, 22:21   #2
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Around here (Puget Sound in Washington State) there's an unwritten law that if you're a power boater you have to fly the Canadian courtesy flag 24/7/365 if you've EVER been across the border as if to say, "LOOKIT ME! I'VE BEEN TO CANADA!"

It's truly sickening and juvenile imho. but about 99% do it.

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Old 23-10-2007, 22:44   #3
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While underway, the Steaming ensign is flown from the mast. While not underway, the Holiday ensign is flown at the transom. The ensign is the flag of the country in which the vessel is documented. You "shift ensign" when you go from being underway to not underway.

The courtesy flag is a flag of the country in which the vessel is visiting. It is supposed to be flown from the mast on the starboard side if possible. Flying this flag earns brownie points with the locals and customs.
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Old 24-10-2007, 01:01   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry Fallis View Post
I believe the flag of the country the boat is registered in flys at the stern, the flag of the country you are in flys on the starboard spreader, but if the captain/skipper is from a third country does he fly that flag and
where?


Terry
The country of the captain really has no bearing on your displayed standards. It's all about the vessel's home country, and the country it's in (and to a lesser extent, the function of that vessel).

In the no-kidding maritime environment, it would be even less usefull, because there are numerous people who might be currently standing as the officer of the deck (or bridge officer), all of which may be from different countries.

The only exception I'm aware of, that specifies a person, is when a person has their own flag, such as a flag officer (admiral) in the navy, or a commodore of a yacht club (i've seen it). In those cases, the ship that the official is on display's the official's standards. But again, that's only for a very small fraction of people, and is considered extremely formal.
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Old 24-10-2007, 01:52   #5
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Flag flying protocol is well documented, including being struck at sunset. Some countries take the flying of flags VERY seriously, to the extent that the "sign of rudeness" that not flying a courtesy flag implies may get you boarded and given a thorough "inspection" . This is why there is so many articles and bits on making home made flags. By the way the bubbling champagne glass flag and the skull and crossbones are not recognised under international maritime law. ; )
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Old 24-10-2007, 01:54   #6
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...in the Med:

In the Med you will find the national ensign of the country of registry of the boat flown from the stern flagstaff. The flag of the country within which you are cruising is flown on the starboard flag halyard at the mast. If the boat is registered in a country different from that of the owner/skipper (as in a charter boat or one registered in a country of (tax) convenience) then the skipper's national ensign may be flown from the port flag halyard.

The U.S. yacht ensign (having 13 white stars and a fouled anchor) must never be flown in international or foreign waters since it has no standing as a national ensign.

Check the US Power Squadron for additional information.
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Old 24-10-2007, 05:18   #7
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I have a Canadian Registered boat moored in a U.S. port Marina. If I leave this marina and go to another US marina flying the proper flags. My chances of being checked by the customs at that port are close to 100% even though I have never left US waters.
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Old 24-10-2007, 09:43   #8
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According to international law, the flag of the country of the port where the vessel is registered/documented is supposed to be the flag you fly. It has nothing to do with where the persons on board are from...period. It is considered a flag vessel of that country which does not change with ownership or the people on board. Vessels of course can be re-flagged to another country but a vessel itself cannot have dual citizenship, in a sense.

Vessels not documented in any country are considered pirate vessels and can legally be shot upon and sunk. That's probably the most interesting thing I got out of my international law class at Cal Maritime.
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Old 24-10-2007, 12:09   #9
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So its all clear now?
Vessel country of registry - ensign on transom.
Courtesy flag of country being visted - starboard spreader.
House flags or country of crew - port spreader.
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Old 24-10-2007, 12:15   #10
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Hi Guy's
I fly the red ensign from the stern, ( Being ex navy) If I pass another british grey funel line and I dip it( I am supposed to) they are obliged to dip therir own. Even if it's an arcraft carrier and Im only in a 20 foot sailer.
It actually happened while I was active.

The courtesy ( spelt wron) flag is flown from your starboard flag halyard.

This is UK rules.
Except for certain positions or clubs it is illegal to deface the red ensign with any other motife.

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Old 24-10-2007, 16:48   #11
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flag etiquette

All your flag questions can be anwered here:


Flag Etiquette | Sailonline.com
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Old 24-10-2007, 17:49   #12
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While chartering in the BVI's the flags are all set up for us, but we like to put up messages with signal flags on the port side and have been known to fly the skull and crossbones as well as the Happy ARRRRR flag, cocktail flag and a few others.
On this occasion, they were to starboard, we knew we were going to meet up with ww.yachtshotsbvi.com (hence the Santa hats!)
Could this be considered offensive?
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Old 25-10-2007, 09:51   #13
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Shooting and sinking undocumented vessels

david m: interesting what you say you were taught at Cal Maritime. San Franweirdo has long had a reputation for kookyness. You are doing much to perpetuate that image. Very interesting indeed.
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Old 25-10-2007, 10:41   #14
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Hundreds of vessels come into the BC Gulf Islands in the summer....most are American.
Very few fly the appropriate flags.

Makes you wonder how much these guys know if they can't get their flags straight.
But to be honest there is a core group of Americans who do get it right even when most of their compatriots don't.

Even the vessels that are registered here probably less than 20% are flagged properly.Most have one flag.
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Old 28-10-2007, 23:08   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskadog View Post
david m: interesting what you say you were taught at Cal Maritime. San Franweirdo has long had a reputation for kookyness. You are doing much to perpetuate that image. Very interesting indeed.
Look up the law..I challenge you. It may seem crazy these days but then how many times have you seen antiquated laws still in the books? In reality, I don't think any navy would blow up a boat because their vessel was not documented with any country...especially people who are obviously not modern day pirates. In my opinion, modern day pirates should be shot upon and sunk and their bodies left as shark food. Countries are in their legal right to do this.
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