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Old 22-08-2011, 13:53   #46
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Re: Is Flying Your Ensign a Requirement ?

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I know of a situation in Mexico where a port captain refused to process a cruiser's papers until that cruiser replaced his weather-beaten courtesy flag with a new one.
It is my experience that people tend to go by the book, or do whatever they can get away with if they don't like you.
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Old 22-08-2011, 13:58   #47
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Re: Is Flying Your Ensign a Requirement ?

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It is my experience that people tend to go by the book, or do whatever they can get away with if they don't like you.
That's certainly a consideration. In this case, the way the story was related to me, the Capitán de Puerto was happy to sell the cruiser a new courtesy flag.
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Old 22-08-2011, 18:09   #48
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Re: Is Flying Your Ensign a Requirement ?

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Well, these are called "non defaced":


...so what badge or crest would constitute a "defaced" ensign, such as the Jersey flag



and how would a non-British person know this in the context of a courtesy flag?

I am aware that the Union flag's use at stern or bow is restricted, but I assume that on the starboard flag, it was considered a national flag.
The red ensign is the proper courtesy flag to be flown in waters bounding the British Isles, and is also the civilian maritime flag; the blue ensign is only flown from vessels whose crew includes a set number of naval reservists or pensioners or if the owner is both a retired naval officer and aboard; the white ensign is only flown by the Royal Navy and certain members and officers of the Royal Yacht Squadron if they have applied for a permit to fly it. The Union Flag, sometimes mistakenly referred to as the Union Jack is only flown in a maritime sense by Royal Navy ships in port and from the jack staff at the bow, when a ship is fully dressed, when the monarch or admiral of the fleet is embarked, and by a ship from the mast head when a court martial is in progress. Defaced Red and Blue Ensigns are used by various organizations, government departments, clubs and by vessels registered to certain colonies and dependencies.
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Old 22-08-2011, 19:47   #49
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Re: Is Flying Your Ensign a Requirement ?

Red Ensign it is, then, but for me, my Britishness does not extend to my boat, at least in a legal sense. The ale supply reflects it, though, as does my nautical invective.
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Old 27-08-2011, 00:15   #50
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Re: Is Flying Your Ensign a Requirement ?

Hi all

Possibly a bit of a stupid question this but here goes.

If your 'home' ensign is one of the defaced red ensigns, eg BVI, Gibraltar etc, would you still fly the red ensign as a courtesy flag when in the waters of another country in the red ensign group? Eg. a BVI registerd yacht sailing in UK or Bermudan waters.

Hayden
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Old 27-08-2011, 02:03   #51
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Re: Is Flying Your Ensign a Requirement ?

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Hi all

Possibly a bit of a stupid question this but here goes.

If your 'home' ensign is one of the defaced red ensigns, eg BVI, Gibraltar etc, would you still fly the red ensign as a courtesy flag when in the waters of another country in the red ensign group? Eg. a BVI registerd yacht sailing in UK or Bermudan waters.

Hayden
The Ensign flown at the stern is the flag depicting your nationality (or port of registry). This does not change. But the 'courtesy flag' flown from your starboard spreader is either the maritime ensign or national flag, of the terrirorial waters that you are in. Which is to be flown only after clearing customs. Before which you must fly the yellow 'Q' signal flag.

So in your siduation, you would fly a BVI or Gibraltar ensign from your stern, with an undefaced red ensign from your starboard spreader.

It was interesting when I was reading about this. There is a whole range of Quariantine signals that can be used in the place of the 'Q' flag. For instance 'QQ' means I am not healthy, but need medical clearance/examination. 'MAA' means I need urgent medical assistance. 'L' means I am under quarantine, and you must not approach. 'UV1' means I am exercising the right of free passage, and wish to pass through your waters without clearing customs... etc. The courtesy flag only signifies that customs has granted permission to enter that country, and is only flown when such permission is granted.
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Old 27-08-2011, 05:48   #52
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Re: Is Flying Your Ensign a Requirement ?

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Originally Posted by Still Hopefull View Post
Hi all

Possibly a bit of a stupid question this but here goes.

If your 'home' ensign is one of the defaced red ensigns, eg BVI, Gibraltar etc, would you still fly the red ensign as a courtesy flag when in the waters of another country in the red ensign group? Eg. a BVI registerd yacht sailing in UK or Bermudan waters.

Hayden
Mind you, as an Australian citizen, if in UK waters I would probably fly the Australian National Flag instead of the Australian Red Ensign. To differentiate my flag from all the other Red ensigns in port. It is recommended practice for Australian craft to fly the blue flag instead of the red one outside home waters, when there could possibly be confusion.
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Old 27-08-2011, 06:37   #53
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Re: Is Flying Your Ensign a Requirement ?

Thanks for the info. Judging by all the different posts on this string it seems this topic can get quite in depth and complicated with different interpretations of the law.
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Old 27-08-2011, 08:47   #54
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Re: Is Flying Your Ensign a Requirement ?

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Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
Well, these are called "non defaced":


...so what badge or crest would constitute a "defaced" ensign, such as the Jersey flag



and how would a non-British person know this in the context of a courtesy flag?.....to be honest, 99.99% would not.

I am aware that the Union flag's use at stern or bow is restricted, but I assume that on the starboard flag, it was considered a national flag.
That Jersey Flag is very new (last year or 2).........it's not actually defaced anymore than the US Flag is defaced by the Stars on........BTW those are 3 Leopards and the Plantagenet Crown (all dating and in use on others places / things in Jersey since the 12th / 13th Centuries)............... but the old design (of a plain Red Ensign) is still 100% legal (it's simply up to you which you fly).

Note that this plain Red Ensign is 100% identical in looks to the English plain Red Ensign.......but it is NOT (and never has been) the English Red Ensign (when flown on a Jersey Registered Boat)......is / was that confusing? Yes

With regard to Courtesy Flags, it is usual for the French (and other Europeans) to fly a small (Plain) Red Ensign on the crosstrees when visiting Jersey (although just like Jersey boats doing the same with the French tricolour in reverse - that is probably more about when later entering home port and showing off some foreign travel ).

The English tend to be more lax about flying a courtesy flag - mostly from ignorance (that we are not in the Solent )......but we have long got used to that.........and so don't take umbrage (nor open fire ).


There are also
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Old 30-08-2011, 06:48   #55
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Re: Is Flying Your Ensign a Requirement ?

So, you're sailing along and having a great day, then someone needs a doctor....or you find you're out of beer, whatever and you decide to head to the nearest shore, but you don't have that country's flag. You fly the Q as you approach, and authoritiescome to clear you, where do you get the flag? Are you expected to carry an inventory of all kinds of flags? Yes, I'm new to this.
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Old 30-08-2011, 07:05   #56
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Re: Is Flying Your Ensign a Requirement ?

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Proper flag ettiquit is like good table manners. Some people have them, others do not.

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Old 30-08-2011, 07:14   #57
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Re: Is Flying Your Ensign a Requirement ?

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So, you're sailing along and having a great day, then someone needs a doctor....or you find you're out of beer, whatever and you decide to head to the nearest shore, but you don't have that country's flag. You fly the Q as you approach, and authoritiescome to clear you, where do you get the flag? Are you expected to carry an inventory of all kinds of flags? Yes, I'm new to this.
Short answer = yes.

But having said that, in practice you are never going to be in sailing distance of 100 countries on any one day or even month - so unless you litterally have no idea where you are going then the odds are high you will have the flag onboard already. But most countries won't shoot you for being ignorant. Most ..............especially if it is an unplanned emergency stop (Beer or predictable bad weather stop IMO doesn't count as a sudden emergency - they are a reasonable likelihood).
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Old 30-08-2011, 07:20   #58
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Re: Is Flying Your Ensign a Requirement ?

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Are you expected to carry an inventory of all kinds of flags? Yes, I'm new to this.
No one gives a damn.

I buy one when I arrive at a new country because they are much cheaper at a newsagency in country than in a chandlery in another country.

If I am ever sprung is say: "I could have bought your flag in the USA and made an American richer or I thought I could wait and buy it here from one of your own people and give them business. What would you prefer I did?"

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Old 30-08-2011, 07:50   #59
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Re: Is Flying Your Ensign a Requirement ?

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The red ensign is the proper courtesy flag to be flown in waters bounding the British Isles, and is also the civilian maritime flag; the blue ensign is only flown from vessels whose crew includes a set number of naval reservists or pensioners or if the owner is both a retired naval officer and aboard; the white ensign is only flown by the Royal Navy and certain members and officers of the Royal Yacht Squadron if they have applied for a permit to fly it. The Union Flag, sometimes mistakenly referred to as the Union Jack is only flown in a maritime sense by Royal Navy ships in port and from the jack staff at the bow, when a ship is fully dressed, when the monarch or admiral of the fleet is embarked, and by a ship from the mast head when a court martial is in progress. Defaced Red and Blue Ensigns are used by various organizations, government departments, clubs and by vessels registered to certain colonies and dependencies.
Small correction -- the UK Blue Ensign may be flown on yachts by members of certain yacht clubs to whom the privilege was granted at some point by the sovereign. In order to have the right to fly the Blue Ensign, the owner must have a warrant from his club, and he must be a UK citizen, and there are more complicated rules about when you may and must not fly it, than with the regular Red Ensign (commonly referred to affectionately as the "Red Duster").
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Old 30-08-2011, 07:57   #60
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Re: Is Flying Your Ensign a Requirement ?

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Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey View Post
Short answer = yes.

But having said that, in practice you are never going to be in sailing distance of 100 countries on any one day or even month - so unless you litterally have no idea where you are going then the odds are high you will have the flag onboard already. But most countries won't shoot you for being ignorant. Most ..............especially if it is an unplanned emergency stop (Beer or predictable bad weather stop IMO doesn't count as a sudden emergency - they are a reasonable likelihood).
Out of beer is a Mayday incident on our boat

Yes, we carry courtesy flags of all the states of the European Atlantic coast. It makes sense to have courtesy flags for your cruising area. Some officials care a lot about it -- the French are known to be capable of mighty snits if you don't fly their courtesy flag as soon as you get within their territorial waters (NOT after clearing customs, as is more usually the case).

We carry courtesy flags for Brittany and Normandy, too. These do not actually have any legal significance, but the Bretons, in particular, are very pleased, and seem even to expect it -- they fantasize that they are a somewhat separate country from France, I guess.

Likewise, with the Channel Islands -- I think a small Red Ensign is technically required for non-UK registered boats, but most yachtsmen fly little Guernsey or Jersey flags. I think the theme here is -- show respect for the host country and for the host country's sovereignty, even if it is the imaginary sovereignty of a place like Brittany.
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