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Old 01-03-2007
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Flying the US flag on a spreader might confuse the viewer as to the nationality of the yacht and the country to which it is entering its waters. The national ensign should always be displayed at the stern on a pole or as Tartan34c suggests. In the first Gulf War, an American yachtsman was afraid of deadly results to fly the US flag while cruising the Red Sea to the Suez. So, he flew the Texas flag instead. He reports that he got salutes from every oil platform he passed! Not exactly illegal, but certainly prudent!
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