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post #21 of 58 Old 03-06-2013
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Re: Courtesy Flags

Okay,
I am now at risk of hijacking this thread but I thought this was interesting regarding the Q flag. It is from a history of the use of the Q flag. What caught my attention was this particular section's date. It would be interesting to hear from a Canadian or a recent visitor to Canada about the procedures there in light of this:

Canada
The Canadian rules for the quarantine are prescribed in Memorandum D3-5-1, issued on 11 February 1998 in Ottawa by the Canada Border Service Agency:

15. Where a vessel arrives in Canada flying a yellow quarantine flag (infectious disease), the customs inspector will not conduct normal clearance procedures until advised by the appropriate health authority that it is safe to do so. Pending such notification, the customs inspector, with the help of the local police authority or the RCMP, as deemed appropriate, will endeavour to ensure that the vessel is maintained in a sterile condition pending cancellation of the health alert by the competent health authority.

Quarantine Regulations [C.R.C., c. 1368, Section 15]

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post #22 of 58 Old 03-06-2013
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Re: Courtesy Flags

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Jackdale, we are talking FREEDOM 32 !
I agree with jackdale - mount a padeye or small eye strap up high on the mast with a small block. When you aren't using it you can cleat it off on the mast. In use you can tie it off on a lifeline near a stanchion.

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Not trying to split hairs but I am not aware of any formal requirement for pleasure vessels to fly flags or even maintain a flag other than as a visual distress signal.
Lots of countries are extremely formal about flag etiquette. I've seen officials stop and counsel visitors a number of times.

Whenever I've cleared US C&I the CBP officer has made a point of when I could take down the Q flag.
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post #23 of 58 Old 03-06-2013
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Re: Courtesy Flags

Why annoy local police by some interpretation of naval law? Just make sure you have the right courtesy flag to show respect for that country's sovereignty. I have heard plenty of stories of locals being insulted by lack of basic flag etiquette. Just because the US is too busy to pay much attention to this type tradition does not make it so in other places. Not flying the yellow quarantine flag would be inviting trouble. It is the only thing that identifies your boat as coming from a foreign port.

These procedures date from before the days of airplanes which seem to have been deemed less likely to transmit pestilence:-) As Tevye once said, "TRADITION!"
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post #24 of 58 Old 03-06-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Courtesy Flags

Thank you all, I know now what to do regarding courtesy flags on Freedom and yes it is an important custom. Cheers!
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post #25 of 58 Old 03-06-2013
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Re: Courtesy Flags

Folks,
Don't get me wrong. I am not trying to lead a revolt against flying courtesy flags. I am also not advocating arguing law with a foreign official when trying to visit their country. I was sincerely asking whether there were actual laws governing pleasure craft entering countries re flying flags (I think law school really messed me up good) or if it was a matter of custom, which I am pretty confident (not 100%) that it is in the US.

I thought the Canadian thingy was fun because it goes 180 degrees opposed to what we all know as custom, courtesy, or law. Reading the Canadian Rule for Quarantine sounds to me like flying the Q flag is a means of declaring the need for medical quarantine. Sounds like a god way to delay the C&I process.
I may just be too easily entertained.

I would NEVER argue tradition with Trevye!

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post #26 of 58 Old 03-06-2013
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Re: Courtesy Flags

The Q flag is so;id yellow , like in yellow fever. If the inspecting doctor doesn't like what he sees you go anchor over there for 40 (in Italian) days until the pestilents has run its course. The courtesy flags says your are clear to land.(granted pratique) I don't think I made this up but I can't remember not knowing it.
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Last edited by Capt Len; 03-06-2013 at 09:24 PM.
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post #27 of 58 Old 03-06-2013
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Re: Courtesy Flags

The Q flag is indeed a quarantine flag and in the old days meant you were asking for free pratique or health clearance for entry when the possibility of disease transmission was high. Now it is flown for general entry from whatever officials the country has. In most cases it is just customs and immigration, but in some countries it can also include health, biodiversity, and the local port authorities. Our record for officials were the 23! That were involved in checking us into Indonesia -all busily filling in forms and stamping things. In some countries you fill out forms asking how many crew died of plague during the voyage. They don't seem to care about those who died in accidents or because of severe discipline.

Some countries take the Q flag and courtesy flags very seriously. In a few, they want the courtesy flag to be larger than the boat's ensign. That may be because the official's brother just happens to have a supply of large national flags. We handled this one by not flying our own flag. In Panama an official complained that our courtesy flag was tattered. I think he was not happy when we said that we had a replacement, since I guessed he had some in his bag for sail.

One personal beef, you are supposed to fly the quarantine flag until cleared and then replace the Q with the courtesy flag. It is becoming common for bpeople to fly the courtesy flag above the Q until clearance. Don't like it.

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post #28 of 58 Old 03-06-2013
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Re: Courtesy Flags

Back when I was wandering, the usual method of facilitating the pratique process was "The passing out of the dutyfree cigs and or bottles" .If the forms are still coming, put a quart on it. To my mind the lack of a courtesy flag screams ' Ignorant jerk'. Sometimes I find I was a bit hasty but its presence tends to illicit a positive response.
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post #29 of 58 Old 03-06-2013
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Re: Courtesy Flags

Regarding the use of courtesy flags in US waters, we live in close proximity to Mystic Seaport, which sees its share of international visitors. They've cleared in before arriving here, so the Q flag is not an issue.

That said, I can't remember a foreign-flagged vessel that did not have an American courtesy flag, usually flown on a starboard flag halyard.
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post #30 of 58 Old 03-06-2013
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Re: Courtesy Flags

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvio View Post
It would be interesting to hear from a Canadian or a recent visitor to Canada about the procedures there in light of this:

Canada
The Canadian rules for the quarantine are prescribed in Memorandum D3-5-1, issued on 11 February 1998 in Ottawa by the Canada Border Service Agency:

15. Where a vessel arrives in Canada flying a yellow quarantine flag (infectious disease), the customs inspector will not conduct normal clearance procedures until advised by the appropriate health authority that it is safe to do so. Pending such notification, the customs inspector, with the help of the local police authority or the RCMP, as deemed appropriate, will endeavour to ensure that the vessel is maintained in a sterile condition pending cancellation of the health alert by the competent health authority.

Quarantine Regulations [C.R.C., c. 1368, Section 15]
Can't say I've ever noticed a visiting American boat in BC flying a Q flag.. though in truth by the time we see them they've already cleared in. I know our hosts in the Caribbean were fastidious about flying the Q (alone) until cleared in down there.

I do appreciate it when someone puts up a courtesy flag that ISN'T the smallest proper flag they could find. It's somehow irksome when the national flag is so big it trails in the water at rest, yet the courtesy flag is discourteously small...
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