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Old 08-11-2012, 02:09 PM   #21
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Nothing came with my documentation except my documentation certificate and I see the note about marking but nothing about flags. .
Ditto. We've been documented the fourteen years we've owned the boat, the document itself is renewed every year, and there is not a word on it regarding flags, either requirements to show it or where to fly it. The only reference to flags in information about documentation that I've ever read is that documenting a boat ALLOWS the operator to fly the US flag. Nothing about having to.
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Old 08-11-2012, 08:55 PM   #22
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The courtesy flag should fly from the outermost hoist on the starboard spreader, leaving room for an inboard hoist on the starboard spreader for a state flag (as shown here for the Alaskan flag).



One must be adaptable when flag hoists are limited. Since the Coot has no inner starboard hoist, I'd hoist a state flag on the portside spreader hoist. If not flying a courtesy flag, I'd put the state flag on the starboard hoist.
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Old 08-11-2012, 09:03 PM   #23
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Flag most recently flown from the Coot's starboard spreader (Fourth of July):

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Old 08-11-2012, 09:30 PM   #24
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If the boat is documented, I believe the proper flag is the Stars and Stripes, not the Yacht Ensign. On our previous sail boat we flew the state flag on the port spreader and the quarantine or courtesy flag on the starboard spreader.

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Old 08-11-2012, 09:32 PM   #25
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Appears that my documentation only states reference to "First Congress, Act of 1 Sep 1789, ch 11, sec 1, 1 stat. 55" that states "the only vessels entitled to fly the US flag were vessels owned by US Citizens and documented"
Appears a gray area. Some searches turn up required and others state no longer required.

So if any one has definitive answer ?

As for HOW to fly the US flag the US code is pretty specific.
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Old 08-11-2012, 09:36 PM   #26
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Psneeld,
The US Navy flies the ensign from a truck or gaff when equipped or a halyard when not and only when underway The ship will announce "moored, shift colors " when docked and the flag will be flown from the stern and the jack from the bow.
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Old 08-11-2012, 09:52 PM   #27
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Psneeld,
The US Navy flies the ensign from a truck or gaff when equipped or a halyard when not and only when underway The ship will announce "moored, shift colors " when docked and the flag will be flown from the stern and the jack from the bow.
Exactly...if from the (a) gaff...it's not necessarily above all other flags and certainly not when flown from a stern staff...

I know the pipe...I have a USCG sea service ribbom

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Old 08-11-2012, 10:54 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by psneeld

Exactly...if from the (a) gaff...it's not necessarily above all other flags and certainly not when flown from a stern staff...

I know the pipe...I have a USCG sea service ribbom

Not as sexy as sweepers MAN YOU BROOMS!
Actually it is above all other flags regardless of where it is flown, truck or halyard.
When flown from the stern the US Flag is solitary
At least on every naval vessel I have served.

Now there are instances of exception but pennants and substitutes and burgee all still are flown below the US flag.

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An example.
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Old 08-12-2012, 07:26 AM   #29
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An other part of flag etiquette is to make sure your flag is in good condition. I was a line handler going through the Canal and the advisor made the captain take down Panama's courtesy flag. It was faded and frayed. His comment was flying a flag like that is an insult.

We have also been in countries where the Port Captains requires you to remove their flag at dusk.
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Old 08-12-2012, 07:33 AM   #30
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The place of honor where the country's national flag should be flown is the stern staff, the gaff, the top of a single pole with no gaff (masthead), or the starboard spreader (if the masthead is not approriate). Only on a single pole should flags ever share the same halyard. The only exception is the church pennant at sea.

It doesn't matter where the other flags are ....above, below, plentiful or non-existent...as long as the place of honor is taken by the country's national flag...a few countries disagree...but the vast majority follow this custom.
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:06 AM   #31
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Has anyone ever been fined or cited for improper flag placement?
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:36 AM   #32
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Has anyone ever been fined or cited for improper flag placement?
In 2001, we arrived in Australia right after midnight. About an hour later another vessel came in and rafted along side us. When Customs, Immigrations and Quarantine arrived in the morning to check us in, the other vessel was not flying the "Q" flag and they were cited.

In 2004, we arrived from the Bahamas in North Carolina flying the "Q" flag. On our way up the Cape Fear River to Wilmington, at least 15 enforcement vessels went past us; CG, Sheriff's, Homeland, etc. Not one asked any questions. At the time we were a little disappointed. We got the idea that they didn't know what they were looking at or didn't care.
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:56 AM   #33
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One other point, IF your vessel is a US documented vessel, you are required to fly the US Flag. .
Where did you dig that up?

Many of the boats at my marina are US documented boats and they may or may not fly a US flag. I have one on a staff at the rear of the flybridge and I ma or may not uncover it. I usually do uncover it while underway but it's covered as I write this.

I have never been stopped by the flag police and I've never even seen the flag police.

Someone on another forum had a flag pole with a "Christian" flag flying above the US flag as his avitar. I questioned him and he stated that God was above country.

Like I said, no flag police.
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Old 08-12-2012, 09:20 AM   #34
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Rwidman,
Glad you read all posts before jumping in.
As I later posted, I couldn't find it definitive. It remains my understanding that documented vessels are US "Flagged" vessels and as such are entitled to fly the US Flag and Should. I couldn't find the hard print showing requirement.
As for Flag Police, we each have our own demons, hope you can find some peace out on the waterways with out too much worry.
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Old 08-12-2012, 09:21 AM   #35
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Psneeld, good examples. Nice explanation. Not sure of the reference your citing. Still not in keeping with US Code. But since the Flag Police are no where in sight, people do what they do.

To each his own I suppose.
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Old 08-12-2012, 09:26 AM   #36
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Psneeld, good examples. Nice explanation.

Thanks...just passing along what I believe to be the proper etiquette.

I got into it before on here about flags...but as most things in life...not much I say changes things so I just lead by example.

There are lot's of people and places that don't use the gaff...they just believe it to be wrong flying the American flag lower than others...they also usually aren't nautically oriented... so they don't understand the concept that the flag is really on a different pole (spar), it's by itself and the only/highest on the halyard.

There are plenty of examples in the press all the time about someone complaining about some organization flying the American flag on the gaff...oh well
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Old 08-12-2012, 09:29 AM   #37
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Roger.
Thanks for sharing
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Old 08-12-2012, 09:58 AM   #38
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An other part of flag etiquette is to make sure your flag is in good condition. I was a line handler going through the Canal and the advisor made the captain take down Panama's courtesy flag. It was faded and frayed. His comment was flying a flag like that is an insult.

We have also been in countries where the Port Captains requires you to remove their flag at dusk.
Good point Larry, on land or at sea.
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Old 08-12-2012, 10:02 AM   #39
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Thumbs up

I would also like to point out how everyone has remained civil and respectful, while disagreeing. Well done!
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Old 08-12-2012, 10:54 AM   #40
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If I wish to fly a state flag, where should it be flown?
It "should" be at Position 5 - Port Spreader

It is not one of the "3 marks of identity" of your vessel: 1) her country, 2) her fleet, or 3) her master (you).

As explained in Linday Lord's "Nautical Etiquette and Customs", this is flag protocol: 1) the ensign, 2) the burgee, 3) the private signal (this corresponds to the 3 marks above), 4) the second club signal, and 5) ornamental whimsies.

Your state flag is thus an ornamental whimsy (assuming, of course, that your vessel is not part of your state's "fleet"!)

Then there are the positions: 1) aft of midships, either on a staff at the stern or the peak of the aftmost gaff, 2) bow on powerboats or foremost masthead on sailbaots, 3) signal masthead on powerboats, second mast aft on sailboats, 4) main starboard spreader (on any boat with a mast), 5) port spreader.

I hope that clears things up!
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