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Old 18-10-2018, 15:07   #1
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Why don't Cruisers Fly their National Flags?

We've been full-time cruising for 2 1/2 years now and we are about 1/2 through our RTW, currently on the Marquesas.

Question: why don't cruising boats fly their national flag? I'm guessing, but I suspect it is over 1/2 that do not show their flag.

We fly our Danish flag with pride. I can understand not flying it while on an extended passage perhaps >(wear and tear) but once near other boats/anchorages etc, a boat really should

The international maritime rules mandate it.

Are people ashamed of their flags/country? Or are they just lazy? Or trying to save money (flags don't cost that much)

It has gotten worse since we have transited the panama canal.
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Old 18-10-2018, 15:12   #2
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Re: Why don't Cruisers Fly their National Flags?

We fly ours. I will take it down during periods of high winds just to minimize wear and tear on the flag.. Otherwise the Stars and Stripes are flying from the transom.

Cheers!

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Old 18-10-2018, 16:32   #3
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Re: Why don't Cruisers Fly their National Flags?

I don’t know why. Next time you are having sundowners with one ask them and let us know.
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Old 18-10-2018, 18:09   #4
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Re: Why don't Cruisers Fly their National Flags?

In my case , it's hard to find a replacement for the Greek flag , so for a while I was sailing without it .
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Old 18-10-2018, 18:19   #5
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Re: Why don't Cruisers Fly their National Flags?

Quote:
Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
.....

Question: why don't cruising boats fly their national flag? I'm guessing, but I suspect it is over 1/2 that do not show their flag.

.....
That's just not our experience. My estimate is more like 80 or 90% do fly their country flag when cruising internationally.
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Old 18-10-2018, 18:29   #6
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Re: Why don't Cruisers Fly their National Flags?

We have always flown the American flag for the last 30 years as well as the national flag of countries we have visited. It is partly protocol and partly a sense of American nationalism we embrace. Today it is fashionable among some cruisers, I believe, to deny their American roots and embrace some philosophical form of universalism. However, in a crisis, they would, undoubtedly, be the first to call the American embassy/Coast Guard for help. Good luck and safe sailing . . . Rognvald
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Old 18-10-2018, 18:39   #7
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Re: Why don't Cruisers Fly their National Flags?

In ten months I've gone through two Taylor Made US flags and one other 'high end' flag I bought in St Martin. I think it is worse to fly a frayed and tattered country flag than none, so, I haven't bothered in the past two months since I can't get a replacement that isn't 4' x 6'. I do have the least frayed wrapped around the flag staff and can deploy at anytime.

I miss having the Stars and Stripes waving, so I have more coming in a care package from home

Our first time out cruising, we had 4 flags aboard, and none returned with us after 3 years. Honestly, we typically just put them on and leave them up until it becomes too bad.... you'd think we'd learn.

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Old 18-10-2018, 18:55   #8
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Why don't Cruisers Fly their National Flags?

Dutch cruisers in the US are lucky. If they wear out their flag they can get cheap, generally serviceable replacements almost anywhere:

Click image for larger version

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Martin do you read these boards?
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Old 18-10-2018, 20:00   #9
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Re: Why don't Cruisers Fly their National Flags?

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Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
Dutch cruisers in the US are lucky. If they wear out their flag they can get cheap, generally serviceable replacements almost anywhere:

Attachment 179213

Martin do you read these boards?
The Dutch flags dont wear out. They just keep trimming tbe frayed ends off. Thats why their flag is so superior to tbe French flag.
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Old 18-10-2018, 20:32   #10
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Re: Why don't Cruisers Fly their National Flags?

My nationality and my boat’s nationality is different, hence I fly the Captain’s national flag in the Port spreader and the vessel’s national flag on the stern. Visiting country’s flag in the Starboard spreader.
Get it all wrong and nobody cares, especially the US Coast Guard or the Marine Police when some bozo sails into Port Everglades in Florida with the Bahamaian flag proudly displayed on the spreader.
Nobody ever paid attention to my yellow flag either.
Why bother?
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Old 18-10-2018, 20:33   #11
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Re: Why don't Cruisers Fly their National Flags?

There was a picture posted on Reddit years ago of a row of houses on July 4th, each with their American flag proudly displayed. People were commenting that "in their country that would be considered inappropriate nationalism". I was STUNNED. As I recall, when probed all they would say is they were in northern Europe.

Most of my life I've had a 1.5 to 2 meter American flag on the front of my house. My boat has a 1m flag on a staff that we only take down when the weather is really nasty. And after hurricane Florence I raised a 2 meter flag to the top of the mast.

I'd like to get small (0.5m?) state flags for where I was born, where my wife was born, and where we grew up and were married (Texas, Missouri, Arkansas) to fly from the port spreader. I'd also like to have state flags to fly for whatever state we are in for courtesy flags, but I think that might be considered weird.

I just really like flags

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Old 18-10-2018, 20:44   #12
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Re: Why don't Cruisers Fly their National Flags?

Slightly off topic: Where do you get good quality 12" x 18" courtesy flags for the Pacific countries such as French Polynesia, Tonga, and Fiji? I can find large flags (3'x5') and tiny toothpick flags, but what about good quality 12x18 flags?
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Old 18-10-2018, 20:47   #13
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Re: Why don't Cruisers Fly their National Flags?

I always flew our ensign (and the SSCA Burgee) whenever we anchored and flew the ensign at sea at all times. I once carried 5 good ones (as they do last about 6mos to a year. Proper flag etiquette was (and is) important to me. Our current 60' ketch flies a large ensign and we just ordered 5 for a planned cruise. It's part of our cost of cruising. Free shout out to Alamo Flags in Falls Church, VA, the best supplier we've found.
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Old 18-10-2018, 20:48   #14
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Re: Why don't Cruisers Fly their National Flags?

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Originally Posted by Dr. Sea View Post
Slightly off topic: Where do you get good quality 12" x 18" courtesy flags for the Pacific countries such as French Polynesia, Tonga, and Fiji? I can find large flags (3'x5') and tiny toothpick flags, but what about good quality 12x18 flags?
Alamo Flags is great!
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Old 18-10-2018, 21:44   #15
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Re: Why don't Cruisers Fly their National Flags?

I had a US flag that came with the boat, but never flew it. It seems to be a level of pride which I don’t have.

I don’t like labels nor do I care much for the separation of people which flags represent. And specifically the history... when I think about all the events and actions which took place in the name of the American flag I become quite saddened.

I much rather like people to approach me first as a human being on a boat, rather than an American... I image flying a flag would have the opposite effect.

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