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Old 22-02-2008, 10:33   #31
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Generally, you would only fly the Irish flag in Irish waters as your courtesey flag when flying the US flag off your transom given your boat is a US flag vessel. I have though in US waters seen all kinds of crazy combinations and in reality don't think many people even care, much less understand flag etiquette. So go ahead....fly the Irish flag with pride! ...just not off your transom. There would be nothing wrong with flying a smaller Irish flag off your bow pulpit.

Just in case you wanted to complicate things? ...while underway you fly your Steaming ensign off your mast and while in port you fly your Holiday ensign off your transom.
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Old 23-02-2008, 22:09   #32
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Flag of Convenience

Apparently, the flying of any flag one wishes to fly, especially in International waters, is permissable/condoned by Admiralty Law.
The term is; "Flag of Convenience."

It is my understanding, a vessel must abide by the laws of the country who's "flag of convenience" they are flying.

The flag keep in mind, is one of choice. The vessel does not need to bound for, departing from, or registered under, the flag they are flying.

I recently read of this, when a cruise ship was investigated to determine if they had acted "within the law". (some sort of crime had occurred on the boat) The cruise line explained they were flying a "flag of convenience" from another country at the time. Further, they were within the law of that country's flag at the time of the incident.
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Old 23-02-2008, 22:46   #33
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pogo, with all due respect, I think I need to clarify a few things.

A flag of convenience ship is a ship that is documented in a country where the standards and/or the registration fees, taxes etc are very minimal so as to minimize operating costs. Some of the "flag of convenience" countries are Panama, Honduras and Liberia. By international law, treaties and convention, a vessel still must fly the flag of the country with which it is documented. There is no law, convention or treaties that encourage the flying of a flag other than the flag with which the ship is registered...it is just the opposite in fact.

The ownership of the ship may be within a country different from where it is registered. The same applies to the officers and crew who frequently are citizens of countries other than the country of registration.

For example, a Liberian registered ship could have German ownership with Danish officers and Philippino crew members. There are all kinds of different combinations out there.

Flag of convenience - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 23-02-2008, 23:05   #34
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To add to David. Many sailboats can not fly there flag from the transom. So the lower starboard spreader is the next best choice. You fly your country flag the highest, as you should place pride of country first and then the club burgee if you are affiliated with one, as you should place pride of club second.
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Old 23-02-2008, 23:23   #35
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It is okay to fly the flag of the country with which you are visiting above your flag of registry. In fact, this is a good idea, it shows respect for the nation that is hosting you.
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Old 24-02-2008, 01:04   #36
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Thanks David. I wasn't sure about the courtesy flag. I shall make a Study hall article on this subject I think. It so often gets asked by people I come across as well as here on the board.
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Old 24-02-2008, 01:48   #37
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OK, we now have a sticky on Flag Etiquette. Could you all read through and let me know here if I need to change anything.
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Old 24-02-2008, 02:21   #38
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OK, we now have a sticky on Flag Etiquette. Could you all read through and let me know here if I need to change anything.
I stand to be wrong, but.......

It should be hoisted at 0800 or 0900 in the winter and lowered at 2100 or Sunset if that is earlier - I thought it was sunrise and sunset, unless the vessel was in use - then it stays up.

It should be lowered when racing. - never heard of that (but I am not a racer!)

The ensign is normaly flown from a Mast stick mounted to the transom or davits - yes. On sailboats it has become much harder to find places to fly flags from. So the next best point is the main mast under the Starboard spreader. - IME the "Next best place" is from the Backstay - around about head height......in arm reach at least!

a white and blue flag that is flown when you have someone in the water diving(scuba). This warns other vessels to keep well clear and/or proceed at a slow speed of 5kts. - It may be as well to also mention the PADI / American diving flag, which even in these waters is used


A couple of images might help.
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Old 24-02-2008, 05:14   #39
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One consideration in documenting your vessel is how often the documentation must be renewed. US documentation must be renewed annually. Although this is free, it is a major PITA, as you have to get the new document delivered to you in exotic places.
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Old 24-02-2008, 05:22   #40
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These so called flags of convenience are what drove the US Maritime Industry to its knees.....It seems that it would be highly suspicious to have an an American Crew on board a ship flying the flag of East Fiddlers-Farrago.

So if you want to fly the flag of another country...go for it.....It will cause more problems than it is worth.
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Old 24-02-2008, 05:56   #41
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These so called flags of convenience are what drove the US Maritime Industry to its knees.....It seems that it would be highly suspicious to have an an American Crew on board a ship flying the flag of East Fiddlers-Farrago.

So if you want to fly the flag of another country...go for it.....It will cause more problems than it is worth.
Perhaps it might have also been some of the outrageous demands by the unions and guilds on ship-owners that drove them offshore in order to remain competitive.
Similar to the longshoreman problems we all have suffered through.
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Old 24-02-2008, 08:09   #42
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These so called flags of convenience are what drove the US Maritime Industry to its knees.....It seems that it would be highly suspicious to have an an American Crew on board a ship flying the flag of East Fiddlers-Farrago.

So if you want to fly the flag of another country...go for it.....It will cause more problems than it is worth.
Although I am not so well travelled as many (most?!) here by boat - I have in my past professional life sent or dealt with a fair few vessels in various parts of the globe registered under a different flag to that of their skipper's passports (let alone the crew). Never heard of a problem.

Of course all the paperwork was in order. it's not illegal - it's not even bending the rules.

Of course I am sure their are parts of the globe where some of the locals may not understand what is normal elsewhere in the world (and is legal in their own), or think that anything they do not understand is therefore suspicious - especially when involving foreigners......but IMO the stupidity of others is not a reason to stay at home......and in any event you can never plan for the stupidity of others..........

Actually thinking about it a bit more, MY vessel is foreign flagged...........in England
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Old 24-02-2008, 10:08   #43
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"Quarenteen Flag:" I thought a "quaranteen" was a tiny four-hulled frigate akin to a quadromaran. Quarantine is what a yellow flag usually means, easiest to remember by "yellow fever". I think the actual description used is something like "I request free practique" meaning, a certificate signed off the the local quarantine officer allowing you to enter the country.

The international divers flag is also simply "Alpha" and the red danger flag is "Bravo". In the US, there is a separate "diver down" flag consisting of a red field with a white diagonal stripe--and serious legal repercussions attached to it. Not to be confused with the other blue and white courtesy flag (blue field, white diagonal stripe) which means "Owner absent, guest on board". If you are borrowing someone's boat, that's an old and mainly unused courtesy to prevent others from rowing over only to find the expected owner isn't there.

Not to be confused with the "Blue Peter", code flag "P" which is a blue square with a white square inset on it. That's the general recall signal for all crew ashore, meaning a ship will be leaving immenently. PG-13: Tradition says it is called the Blue Peter because the sailors will have to leave their (ahem) ladies immediately and contend with blue portions of their anatomy until a later date.

WRT a national ensign, everything I've ever come across says simply never fly that from the starboard spreader--that's simply the wrong place for it. Sadly most boaters stick it on a wimpy stick that lets the flag hang down on the pulpit or stern deck (on many YC launches) which is even less acceptable. The national ensign is never supposed to be "dragging" against the deck or anything else. And once it gets ratty and frayed--it should be burned, not flown as rags, unless you're at war and it is all you've got.

How can you have a sticky on flags without a full color set of image files to go along?! <G>
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Old 24-02-2008, 10:17   #44
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Now, you've done it!

A flag of convenience? = Courtesy Flag (Flying that ensign of the nation upon whos waters you have entered or are operating upon) therefore; following the rules and laws of the same country while in their countries waters are mandate.



I actually looked in "CHAPMANS," "PILOTING, SEAMANSHIP & SMALL BOAT HANDLING" (I hate to be reduced to that). I should have known anything written in this forum had better be right or prepare to defend.. (thats a good thing)

under "Flag Display Afloat and Ashore"
I quote;

"There is no legislation governing the flying of any flag on numbered, undocumented, or unlicensed vessels. Documented vessels are expected to fly the yacht ensign, but this regulation is not enforced. However, through the years, customs have been established for the types of flags that may be flown and when and where they are to be displayed."

continuing;

United States Ensign (as referred to in sailing vessels only)
quote;
"The U.S. ensign is proper for all U.S. yachts, without reservation. This is "OLD GLORY" with 50 stars and 13 stripes. All boats when at anchor fly it from the stern staff. On the high seas it need only be flown when meeting or passing other vessels.
On Marconi-rigged sailboats under sail alone, the practice has been for many years to fly the flag from the leech of the aftermost sail, approximately 2/3 the length of the leech above the clew This puts it in about the same position it would occupy if the boat were gaff-rigged, and on gaff-rigged sailboats it is still proper to fly the Ensign, from the peak of the aftermost gaff. On modern high-aspect-ratio rig, with the boom end well inboard the stern, has made it possible to fly the Ensign from the stern staff of the sailboat underway, and this is now accepted practice."

ON other nations flags;

"As a matter of courtesy, it is proper to fly the flag of a foreign nation on your boat when you enter and operate on its waters."

more;

"Don't fly a foreign courtesy ensign after you have returned to U.S. waters. While it may show that you've "been there" it is not proper etiquette."

And If you are flying a courtesy ensign from the starboard spreader the displaced flags normally postioned on the starboard is permitted by custom to be flown from the port spreader if you have one.

"Colors" (i.e. our ensign) are raised at 0800 and struck at end of day when in port, unless the flag is illuminated.
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Old 24-02-2008, 11:09   #45
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One consideration in documenting your vessel is how often the documentation must be renewed. US documentation must be renewed annually. Although this is free, it is a major PITA, as you have to get the new document delivered to you in exotic places.
What US documentation are you referring to, USCG?
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