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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #11  
Old 01-04-2007
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"An CG documented vessel is required to fly the 50 star flag not the yacht ensign. "
Sorry guys, both wrong. There's a good illustrated discussion at
http://mysite.verizon.net/vzeohzt4/S...gn/Ensign.html

A USCG documented pleasure craft is not *required* to fly any flag or ensign. It gains the optional *right* to fly the "yacht ensign", which is improper for an undocumented vessel. That's not the 50-star "union jack" either.

Since an "ensign" is defined as a "national flag" both the US flag and the "Yacht Ensign" may be called flags or ensigns, as you choose.

Apparently there has been some conflict over the two flags:
http://flagspot.net/flags/us~yte.html
and some question and the current legal status of them, versus traditions.
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  #12  
Old 01-04-2007
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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."

Rousmaniere

The following is copied from one of the sites that HelloSailor cites: [such a challenge]

"Legal Authority?

"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 When I went to look for the old citation on legal authority (Title 46 U.S. Code Section 109), I found that it was repealed by the Vessel Documentation Act of 1980.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.
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  #13  
Old 01-04-2007
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"from one of HelloSailor's sites:"
My cite, not my site.
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  #14  
Old 01-04-2007
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When to fly the flags?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor
In terms of etiquette? "Permanently" is simply wrong. Correct flag etiquette means raising it in the morning and lowering it in the evening, as well as during inclement weather. Or while engaged in battle, and a few other unusual circumstances.

The modern habit of flying a flag 24x7, lighted at night or not, and just letting it shred in the wind, to me in disrespectful jingoism, not to be confused with flying a flag. If you want it to be there "always" then you paint it on the mast or hull--rather than flying one.
I am a Canadian vessel registered in Canada, but since I live 15 minutes from an American marina I moor there for 4 months of the summer. I am not there every day to raise & lower the flags and since I am moored in a host country I have the American flag 24/7 on the starboard shroud and my Canadian flag 24/7 on the stern pole. To me that seems to be the right thing to do so that all know at all times that it is a Canadian vessel moored/hosted in an American port. Am I wrong?
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  #15  
Old 01-04-2007
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Flags and rules

I wrote the SailNet article that was linked earlier (it's based on the relevant section in The Annapolis Book of Seamanship, which I wrote). Outside of guidelines and traditions, the only universal rule is that outside US waters there's only one official American flag, and that's the stars and bars. Skippers who like the yacht ensign should carry both types when they cross borders.

Some yacht clubs call for the stars and bars all the time. What drives traditionalists crazy is seeing the yacht club burgee flying from the starboard spreader. If you want to do it 100% right, get an extra tall pig stick to hoist to the masthead on a Dacron flag halyard with an extra-sturdy block up there. (Nylon stretches so much you probably won't be able to get the stick to stand straight up straight so the burgee's above the masthead instruments.)

It's not illegal to put the ensign on the mainsail or mizzen leech. But it doesn't make much sense to do it if you can't get it down in a hurry to prevent fraying by the backstay or topping lift. You can have the sailmaker punch a grommet or sew a small block into the leech about 2/3 of the way up. Run a flag halyard through it and secure it to the end of the boom. And be prepared to make adjustments.

John Rousmaniere
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Old 01-04-2007
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John, if one wanted to fly the flag from the mainsail leech (on a sloop) is it just tacked on and left to fly from the angled leech? Or is there any way to try making the fly fly straight, i.e. adding in a triangle of cloth between the two so that the flag flies "straight" ?
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  #17  
Old 01-04-2007
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Ensign on leech.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor
John, if one wanted to fly the flag from the mainsail leech (on a sloop) is it just tacked on and left to fly from the angled leech? Or is there any way to try making the fly fly straight, i.e. adding in a triangle of cloth between the two so that the flag flies "straight" ?
Right from the leech. It will fly at a slight angle, but if that's a concern you could run the lower part of the flag halyard forward on the boom until it is vertical. The pronlem there is that you probably won't be able to tension the flag halyard completely if it's on the leeward side. I'm trying to attach an image that shows this, using a painting of a gaff-rigged boat (the yacht AMERICA in fact).


John Rousmaniere
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Display US Flag on shrouds-copy-img_2302-buttersworth-email-americascup-detail.jpg  

Last edited by johnsail; 01-04-2007 at 04:54 PM.
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  #18  
Old 01-04-2007
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Dear John Rousmaniere,
Are the traditionalists still hanging on to the ol’ pig sticks? I thought that with wind flys, antennas, and everything else, that the starboard spreader was now the place of honor these days. The big no-no in our club is flying the burgee off the port spreader. I want to thank you again for the lecture you did in conjunction with North Sails a couple of years ago in San Francisco. It was very informative and my wife and I enjoyed it very much. Recently, we also saw your videos of the Annapolis Book of Seamanship for the first time. My, how the yachting attire styles have changed over the past 20 (25?) years.
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  #19  
Old 01-05-2007
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Rep Rating is based on how YOU rate other members posts by clicking on the little scales in the top right corner.
With only 5 posts John has not had a chance to develope much of a rep with the computer despite the large one he has with those of us who know his work!
Welcome John and feel free to post enough to boost your reputation!!
For what it's worth...I like your books (especially Fastnet)...but I like your wife's books even better!
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  #20  
Old 01-05-2007
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Flag etiquette purists

Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie
Rep Rating is based on how YOU rate other members posts by clicking on the little scales in the top right corner.
With only 5 posts John has not had a chance to develope much of a rep with the computer despite the large one he has with those of us who know his work!
Welcome John and feel free to post enough to boost your reputation!!
For what it's worth...I like your books (especially Fastnet)...but I like your wife's books even better!

Yes, some people still care passionately and sometimes not too politely about traditional flag etiquette routines, like flying the burgee from the main masthead, not the starboard spreader. I'm not such a purist in that department, but (getting back to the question that launched this thread) I do believe the ensign belongs aft. It's traditional, but more important that's where it's visible from almost all directions.


New to this blog as I am (though not to SailNet), I'll take a pat on my rep any time (and will pass on those kind words to the other writer in the house). I'm doing another NorthU seminar in San Francisco in mid-March, and one also in Portland, OR.


John Rousmaniere
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