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Old 21-05-2013, 10:35   #1
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Right Courtesy Flag for UK

What's the right courtesy flag to fly in the UK (as a US flagged boat)? Is it the Red Duster or the Union Jack?
Correct to fly from the starboard spreader right?

Thanks,
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Old 21-05-2013, 10:45   #2
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Re: Right Courtesy Flag for UK

What ever you do, dont fly any description of British or nationalistic flag as its now deemed racist and offensive to all but Native Brits
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Old 21-05-2013, 10:49   #3
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Re: Right Courtesy Flag for UK

Hi Toodle-oo,
Definately the Red Ensign, or as you state affectionately known as the Red Duster.

The Union Jack must not be used and is illegal.

British registered yachts fly the Red Duster from the stern as the national flag.

There are also blue ensigns and white ensigns. Blue is used by some royal affiliated yacht clubs and white is only permitted if an admiral is on board - so navy only.

The union Jack is never used.
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Old 21-05-2013, 10:51   #4
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Re: Right Courtesy Flag for UK

Thanks! Ordered and on the way!
Looking forward to landfall in August after a stint in the Azores...
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Old 21-05-2013, 11:18   #5
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Originally Posted by silentwings39 View Post
Hi Toodle-oo,
Definately the Red Ensign, or as you state affectionately known as the Red Duster.

The Union Jack must not be used and is illegal.

British registered yachts fly the Red Duster from the stern as the national flag.

There are also blue ensigns and white ensigns. Blue is used by some royal affiliated yacht clubs and white is only permitted if an admiral is on board - so navy only.

The union Jack is never used.
Nor is it called the Union Jack either. It's called the union flag.

Dave
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Old 21-05-2013, 11:32   #6
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Re: Right Courtesy Flag for UK

You must fly the RED ENSIGN on the starboard spreader and the yellow quarantine flag on the port spreader.

Good luck
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Old 21-05-2013, 12:02   #7
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Re: Right Courtesy Flag for UK

As brits, we fly our red duster from the stern and if visiting Wales, Scotland or Isle of Man then we fly their courtesy flag from right spreaders, but As a foreign national you would still have to fly the red ensign and I guess if you wish you could also fly theirs below but it's not compulsory.
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Old 21-05-2013, 12:28   #8
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Re: Right Courtesy Flag for UK

If your also going to visit Eire, Wales, Scotland, Isle of Man, or even Cornwall, you could fly this flag (not official flag)





in addition to the courtesy ensign.
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Old 21-05-2013, 12:51   #9
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Re: Right Courtesy Flag for UK

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Originally Posted by rivonia View Post
You must fly the RED ENSIGN on the starboard spreader and the yellow quarantine flag on the port spreader.

Good luck
Strictly speaking you should fly the yellow Q at the stbd spreader until you've cleared in, then replace it with the Red Ensign once clear.
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Old 21-05-2013, 12:57   #10
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Originally Posted by silentwings39 View Post
Hi Toodle-oo,
Definately the Red Ensign, or as you state affectionately known as the Red Duster.

The Union Jack must not be used and is illegal.

British registered yachts fly the Red Duster from the stern as the national flag.

There are also blue ensigns and white ensigns. Blue is used by some royal affiliated yacht clubs and white is only permitted if an admiral is on board - so navy only.

The union Jack is never used.
Since when is it illegal?
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Old 21-05-2013, 13:00   #11
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Re: Right Courtesy Flag for UK

Dont quote me on this, but if you cleared into the Azores, and then headed to the UK, you may not need to fly the Q flag on arrival at the UK (EU and all that).

Customs Formalities | Boating Abroad | Information & Advice | RYA
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Old 21-05-2013, 13:05   #12
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Re: Right Courtesy Flag for UK

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Since when is it illegal?

OK, my flag etiquette is a bit rusty, but I think only Commissioned ships can fly the Union Flag (Royal Navy mostly), and it is only hoisted when alongside, moored or at anchor, and then flown from the jack staff (flag pole at the pointy end of the ship), hence the name Union Jack.
Although strictly it is incorrect for us plebs to fly the Union flag, no one is going to come along and shoot you or throw you into the Tower Of London
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Old 21-05-2013, 13:13   #13
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Originally Posted by nigel1 View Post

OK, my flag etiquette is a bit rusty, but I think only Commissioned ships can fly the Union Flag (Royal Navy mostly), and it is only hoisted when alongside, moored or at anchor, and then flown from the jack staff (flag pole at the pointy end of the ship), hence the name Union Jack.
Although strictly it is incorrect for us plebs to fly the Union flag, no one is going to come along and shoot you or throw you into the Tower Of London
Well there goes the backstage pass to the tower

I thought you were saying the flag itself was illegal. My mistake. I know when I lived in North Yorkshire there were rumblings about the St Andrews and all those being "offensive" or some such nonsense.
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Old 21-05-2013, 15:35   #14
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Since when is it illegal?
Since ever , ( well actually 1634, though it wasnt the union flag as we now know it ) here's one of the latest revisions of the merchant shipping acts the 1995 one

(1)The flag which every British ship is entitled to fly is the red ensign (without any defacement or modification) and, subject to subsections (2) and (3) below, no other colours.
(2)Subsection (1) above does not apply to Government ships.
(3)The following are also proper national colours, that is to say—
(a)any colours allowed to be worn in pursuance of a warrant from Her Majesty or from the Secretary of State;
(b)in the case of British ships registered in a relevant British possession, any colours consisting of the red ensign defaced or modified whose adoption for ships registered in that possession is authorised or confirmed by Her Majesty by Order in Council.
(4)Any Order under subsection (3)(b) above shall be laid before Parliament after being made.

Dave

Note that flying a union flag as a Pilot jack , ie with a white border from the jack staff is allowed though you rarely see it these days. Since 1970 it has ceased to be a pilot jack.
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Old 27-01-2016, 04:28   #15
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Re: Right Courtesy Flag for UK

I arrived in the Isles of Scilly last year, first port of call Hughtown as I expected that maybe there would be some customs involved as we were arriving from the Azores, and after Portuguese officialdom for 2 months (reporting at arrival and departure in -every- harbour!) I wasn't taking any chances.

How wrong I was -- they weren't interested at all. Azores is EU, so they need to see any papers or anything.

This is with a EU (Dutch) flagged boat and owner, so it might be a little different if you're from across the pond.
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