Join Date: Jul 2002
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Rep Power: 15
Emily, yours is a normal question and you should assume that any ''absolute'' answer you get will be somewhat inaccurate as local practice varies immensely on the subject of courtesy flags.
Some locals have learned that they can approach a new yachtie, tell them they ''must'' fly a courtesy flag and maybe end up selling them one. The yachtie later notices in the anchorage that half the boats aren''t flying one. In other places (perhaps even the same country), officials can take it seriously and compliance is appropriate. At one port, you''ll be remote from the officials at all times and there''s not even anyone with whom you are complying.
I''d suggest you look at the question a little differently. You''re about to embark on a big adventure - what would add the most to it? Assume for the moment this is more ''custom'' than ''law'' - what''s going to provide fun and interest to the cruise? Some get a kick out of being crafty and doing the bare minimum re: govt. regs. Others find flags to be part of the ''experience''. What fits your boat?
My suggestion: Prepare in advance where possible, invent on the spot when you must, buy what the kitty will allow but make what you can when the money is better spent elsewhere. My wife (with a little help from me) makes most of our flags, but OTOH she chooses not to make some because they are so intricate. Her preference is that whatever flag we fly, it looks good, is reasonably representative, and will last a while - because that''s what we like, because it will be a momento of the cruise, and because we might want to reuse it (and we have, in some cases). But this is our set of preferences; your pleasure is that you begin to invent yours!
Oh, and don''t forget a good flag book (good ones reflect the several main types of flags used by a country, not just the national colors) and markers, scraps, glue, etc.