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post #21 of 44 Old 04-15-2008
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Am I missing something?
How would the USCG react to an Iranian ship entering US waters flying a Stars and Stripes as its ensign?

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post #22 of 44 Old 04-15-2008
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Idiens - I'd expect the USCG to react "appropriately." That said, my question is whether on entering foreign waters, we sailboats are required to fly our national ensign and display the courtesy flag of the country being entered. Having seen yachts observe a multitude of practices and customs for years (from the overly decorated to the "none of the above") I'm wondering if I'm seeing people failing to observe custom or flouting regulations.


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post #23 of 44 Old 04-15-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
Can confirm that the yellow "Q" is still in use everywhere.
I believe the vessels registry determines the flag flown aft
Gee Faster, I don't have a Q flag, never even seen one, do I really need it?
I have a big CDN flag off the stern and I keep a small American one on the starboard shroud because I moor in USA PT. Roberts. Since I do a lot of sailing in USA and have already drove through customs I am already cleared so don't have a Q flag. I do have a Nexus & CanPass so when crossing I am usually cleared before nearing the harbour. When cleared for CDN waters I take the small American flag down until I am ready to head back to home port PT. Roberts. I do it as a courtesy gesture so as not to offend any Americans especially those customs guys who hang off the entry dock hollering "where you from" but by then I am already cleared through Nexus. I seldom if ever see an American flagged vessel with a CDN courtesy flag though but I'll keep an eye out for those Q flags this year. I cross customs a lot and nobody ever noticed I was not flying a Q flag or if they did it was not brought to my attention. Maybe I should get one for the car!
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post #24 of 44 Old 04-15-2008
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The Q flag is not generally used here in the northwest between Canada and the US simply because so many people sail between the two daily. You can bet that someone arriving in Neah Bay from Japan will be flying one if they haven't pre-arranged customs, etc.

The flag itself is a traditional thing, a holdover from the days when radios didn't exist or didn't work very well. The flags are still used but not always required by law. many times boats approaching foreign countries will not have arranged their arrival clearances and that is what the flag indicates.

The large yellow buoy off the Victoria waterfront (VH) is called the quarantine buoy for a reason. Those freighters you see anchored on Constance Bank aren't there because they like the view. They are awaiting clearance. Most clearances are done by Tofino traffic as the big ships approach Juan de Fuca. Listen to the pre-entry check list they go through on VHF when you are out sailing, that is if you actually get out towards the real ocean anytime.

Around here, most US flagged vessels fly a courtesy flag. Those skippers that don't are just ignorant.

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post #25 of 44 Old 04-15-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailormann View Post
FWIW, I believe that the custom of raising the flag of a foreign country when entering it's waters has its roots in naval custom dating to the Renaissance, and was an indication that the captain and crew of a foreign-flagged vessel agreed to be subject to the laws and customs of the country they were visiting.
That sounds good, but warships are considered a piece of sovereign property of the country of origin when they are abroad. The crew are only subject to the local laws when ashore.

The courtesy flag is a courtesy. It shows respect for the country you are visiting. It is always wrong to fly a foreign country's flag whether on a boat or house or whatever without flying the home country's flag. For example, a Canadian living in Texas may fly a Canadian flag but he had better also fly an American flag of the same size or he is being very rude. The same is true everywhere. It is simple courtesy in most places but law in some (ie Turkey).

There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
Shakespeare, Julius Caesar IV, iii, 217
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post #26 of 44 Old 04-15-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptKermie View Post
Gee Faster, I don't have a Q flag, never even seen one, do I really need it?
Touche... it's true, as Plumper said above, that this convention is not in use between BC and Washington state, borders that are perhaps the most relaxed in the world (less so lately, unfortunately) btw I don't own one either, but then I haven't been to US waters in years.

So in that respect "everywhere" is not everywhere. However it is in regular use in the Caribbean (at least on the boat we were on) as countries are changed every 50 miles or so.

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post #27 of 44 Old 04-15-2008
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I suspect that most yachtsmen (even those in the border states) don’t carry Quebec flags. But heck, how many of us display the Bravo flag either? Oddly enough, I rarely see a Quebec flag flying from the Cargo Ships tying up at Port of Oakland, and I know that those ships are “quarantined” while they deliver their cargos. Nor do I see it displayed on ships lying in the various anchorages. I do see a lot of Bravo flags flying, so go figure. Being situated half way between Canada and Mexico, I don’t really think or worry about this too much so consider the source.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plumper View Post
Around here, most US flagged vessels fly a courtesy flag. Those skippers that don't are just ignorant.
I have to say that most Americans on Lake Ontario visiting any Toronto club or marina that I've observed are pretty good with the Canadian courtesy flags. But then that could be because the population density and cultural impact of Canada on the U.S. population in north-eastern New York State is pretty heavy...we snicker a bit at the station I.D. of the Buffalo PBS station showing a Toronto landmark with the logo "WNED: Toronto-Buffalo", but realistically, they must get 3/4 of their donation haul from this side of the border.

Get as far south as southern Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee, however, and Canada might as well be Mars. Portugal would be Pluto...
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post #29 of 44 Old 04-15-2008
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Off Topic: It is unfair to hack Americans on how much they know about Canada. Our education is heavily skewed in their favour because we watch many, many hours of American TV, the most used teaching device in both countries. If Canada controlled the entertainment airwaves then the world would know more about Canada.

There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
Shakespeare, Julius Caesar IV, iii, 217
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post #30 of 44 Old 04-15-2008 Thread Starter
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Well, I would say that's true, if Americans didn't know quite so much about Mexico!

But you're right, that's an Off Topic thread. Besides, I just finished complimenting the Great Lakes U.S. sailors, who maintain quite well the courtesy flag tradition that I gather the Washington and Oregon states sailors have let pass.

(By the way, TommyT, who I met on Alex's boat, was an American executive at a Canadian office for a few years, and he can almost impersonate a Canadian...understands curling and hockey metaphors, sees some good in socialized medicine...it's amazing, really.)
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