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post #7 of Old 08-24-2008
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There is an established etiquette for flying U.S. flags. It is very long standing, the result of tradition and practice over hundreds of years.

ALL of the flags depicted above -- and described above -- do NOT meet this protocol.

One source of information on flying flags is the U.S. Power Squadron:
Flag and Etiquette Committee

Another is Chapman's.

Much as I value SailNet, I wouldn't consider it an authoritative source on flag-flying.

From USPS:

"The national ensign worn by a vessel must be the flag of her registry—not necessarily that of the owner or operator.

Generally, the national ensign should be displayed at the peak of the gaff, i.e., the outer end of the spar extending aft from the mast of your boat—if you boat has a gaff. If it does not, fly it from the flagstaff at your boat's stern. If your boat has an overhanging boom or an outboard motor, your flagstaff may be offset to starboard (preferably) from your boat's centerline."

.... (sportfishing boats)

"Marconi-rigged sailboats may fly the ensign from the leech of the aftermost sail (or from the back stay), approximately 2/3 the distance up its length. This puts it in about the same position it would occupy if the boat were gaff-rigged.

At anchor or made fast, the ensign should be flown from the stern staff of all boats. The U.S. national ensign has a 10:19 hoist/fly ratio."

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