I've sent an email
asking for guidance from the US Coast Guard on this issue. If a response is received, I'll post it here.
I'm quite familiar with Chapman and NYYC guidance on flag etiquette.
A couple of USPS dictates I don't agree with:
"United States Power Squadrons believes that a state flag should not be flown on a vessel unless the vessel is state owned (where the flag would be flown as a house flag or private signal), the governor is embarked (where the flag would be flown as an officer flag), or some state business is being transacted on board (where the flag would be flown as an officer flag).
Flags are worn on vessels to convey some type of specific information about a boat or its personnel. Just like you wouldn't fly a national ensign from the stern of your vessel for patriotic reasons (the national ensign worn identifies the country of registry—which is not necessarily that of the owner or operator), you shouldn't fly a state flag just because you live in or like a particular state.
"It is important to point out that no matter how these laws read, the USPS ensign should never be flown on the same halyard as a state flag.
Since the state flag is considered a private signal or officer flag when flown on a boat, it is not superior to the USPS ensign. If it is necessary to fly a state flag on the starboard halyard
, the USPS ensign should be removed."
So, you may fly your national flag but not one's state flag? And the USPS is superior to a sovereign state to which I pay license fees
? Not in my opinion. (I'm not a USPS member
, so wouldn't be flying a USPS flag regardless.)