This is getting interesting.
"Under pressure from yachtsmen, the American and British governments independently approved special flags to be flown only from yachts. In the United States, the yacht ensign was designed by the officers of the New York Yacht Club in 1848. It remains a legal national flag for pleasure boats in US waters.
"By law, the only pleasure boats required to fly the yacht ensign in US waters are ones that are documented, or registered with the federal government government and not a state. Every other US boat may fly either the yacht ensign or the standard national ensign (except in foreign waters, where a US-registered boat may fly only the 50-star flag). Still, many yacht clubs require members to fly the yacht ensign."
The following is copied from one of the sites that HelloSailor cites: [such a challenge]
"The discussion on yacht ensigns got me thinking about the legal authority for the U.S. yacht ensign. When I went to look for the old citation on legal authority (Title 46 U.S. Code Section 109), I found that it was repealed by the Vessel Documentation Act of 1980. There's no explanation for the repeal in either the act itself or the Congressional committee reports on the law, suggesting that the provision was simply considered outmoded. The old Navy directives implementing the law have likewise gone off the books. I don't have a copy of the page of NTP-13(B) (Flags, Pennants, and Customs) that deals with the YE, but recall that it simply acknowledged its widespread use with or without the formerly required warrant and noted that flying it in lieu of the national ensign was customary.
"What laws/regulations/rules govern this subject now? Where is it written which ensigns, jacks, and so on must be flown by private U.S. vessels?"
Joe McMillan, 10 February 2000
Very interesting. Is there an argument for doing as we damned well please? Arguably.
Last edited by jones2r; 01-04-2007 at 04:19 PM.