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Old 13-05-2013, 14:06   #1
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How important is it to fly the countries flag you are going to. We are planing South Pacific islands and SE Asia. If important where can you buy them in Australia cheap.

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Old 13-05-2013, 14:19   #2
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pirate Re: Flags

Originally Posted by Quintessa View Post
How important is it to fly the countries flag you are going to. We are planing South Pacific islands and SE Asia. If important where can you buy them in Australia cheap.
A few years back in Horta I got gifted a bag full of beautifully hand sewn sails by a lovely Belgian couple for every country they had visited in the Caribbean...
She had made up and carried a ragbag... and sewed the courtesy flags on the way..
Awesome gift.. and useful to boot
Oh... and its very important.. folks get sniffy at perceived insults.. especially officials...
I do not exist to impress the world.
I exist to live my life in a way that will make me happy.

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Old 13-05-2013, 14:39   #3
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Re: Flags


It's hard to say how important it is. For one thing, each country has its own laws relative to courtesy flags. You'd want to check this, 'cause it's from a long time ago, but Indonesia used to require that you fy their flag both higher than your own country's ensign, and the courtesy flag had to be larger than your ensign, as well, on pain of a large fine. But each country's laws may vary, and be updated.

There is an outfit up north, either in northern Qld or NT (I don't remember) that makes lots of courtesy flags, and relatively cheaply as well. Maybe Googling on "flag makers in Australia" would get you there.

We have always just flown the courtesy flag, on the assumption that since we are a guest in the foreign country, we should show them that respect. I used to make them from spinnaker cloth "off-cuts", the scraps that were given to me by a sailmaker. Most flags are not too difficult to replicate, either with hand stitching or sewn on a machine. It's difficult to find them for sale many places, and others charge over $100 per flag to buy it there! They don't usually have to last very long, so don't have to be made too strong or use expensive fabric.

How important is it? I'm not sure someone else can decide that for you. We think it's important to try and be a good ambassador for our nation. How you feel about that issue may help decide about the courtesy flag issue, and other cross cultural issues you may encounter.

Ann & Jim, U.S. s/v Insatiable II, SE Qld, for a while
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Old 13-05-2013, 15:04   #4
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Re: Flags

I think flying a courtesy flag while in a foreign country is the respectable, polite and politically-correct thing to do. We always fly one except when the wind gets too high.

We were in Pago Pago once and we heard on the VHF a conversation between a freighter and the port captain. The port captain was denying the freighter permission to enter the port because they weren't flying an American Samoa courtesy flag. We thought that was kind of harsh.

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Old 13-05-2013, 15:12   #5
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Re: Flags

Some countries can be quite exacting about their flag. Years ago went to Turkey with a hand made flag that I figured was good enough - the port captain had a different opinion.
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Old 14-05-2013, 05:54   #6
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Re: Flags

Bottom line: it varies dramatically from one place to the next. There are places where no one will even notice if you have a courtesy flag at all. There are other places where the authorities will make you jump through every little hoop that they can find if you don't have what they consider to be a "proper" flag.

Best advice is to have a courtesy flag available for everywhere that you plan to visit. If I found myself stopping somewhere without a courtesy flag, on my first visit to customs, before they had a chance to bring the subject up, I would say something like, "Couldn't find a decent flag for your country on my way here. Can you recommend somewhere nearby that I can get one to fly while I'm visiting?"

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