are usually about one inch (measured longways) for every foot of overall length of the boat. Since flags
don't tend to come in one-inch increments. people generally round up. A 32' boat would fly a 36" flag, for example. The angle is generally set by the socket that the staff is set into. The length of the staff varies according to the length of the boat. Our 36' boat has a 4' staff. Some boats fly their ensigns so the corner is just above the water
- possibly a European habit. This gets the flag wet if you sail with it up, and gets it dirty if you run the engine
. The bottom corner of ours ends up about even with the sheer line. This keeps it drier and cleaner, and seems to be about right.