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post #31 of 58 Old 03-07-2013
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Re: Courtesy Flags

I've been counting for years and figure about 20%(mostly sail) of american yachts show a courtesy flag in Victoria (port of entry for most of them) . While standing on Ship Point looking at a large USCG cutter I fell into conversation with a fellow dockwalker. I commented on how the USCG must be as financially strapped as us Canadians,eh? "How so "he says. ' Well look, they can't even afford a courtesy flag' Turns out he was the master of the cutter. After some more cordial banter,he sent a man up to the flag store.I'm pleased to report that the USCG flies a courtesy flag in this foreign port.
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post #32 of 58 Old 03-07-2013
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Re: Courtesy Flags

We go with 18 x 12 courtesy flags, because we visit so many countries and the cost can rapidly get silly, especially after you pay the entry costs which can be exorbitant. Entry to Australia was AUD$540, so not spending $30+ for a large courtesy flag mattered. We generally will have a spare courtesy flag if planning to be in a country for more than a month.
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post #33 of 58 Old 03-07-2013
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Re: Courtesy Flags

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Originally Posted by killarney_sailor View Post

...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.
I've never seen this practice, though in all honesty I am not a world cruiser so am a bit limited in experience. I think I would find this confusing at first look.

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post #34 of 58 Old 03-07-2013
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Re: Courtesy Flags

Faster,
What really struck me in that notice was that upon reading it sounded to me like a protocol from long ago days that has been refined to meet modern times and procedures for reporting disease but still uses the Q flag for signaling.

I think I am too easily amused reading memos, I can picture myself coming into port flying a Q and being directed to a quarantine area to be thoroughly checked over by health officials. All the while "maintained in a sterile condition." 8-)

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post #35 of 58 Old 03-07-2013
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Re: Courtesy Flags

rgscpat,
I should apologize to you if I came off as aggressive or argumentative, not at all my intention. I found what you posted to be very interesting and informative.

Looking back through this thread I may have come across strong and snippy.

I find these conversations very interesting and enlightening and have a tendency to type as I would talk face to face, rather quickly and by batting ideas back and forth.

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post #36 of 58 Old 03-07-2013
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Re: Courtesy Flags

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Originally Posted by Capt Len View Post
While standing on Ship Point looking at a large USCG cutter I fell into conversation with a fellow dockwalker. I commented on how the USCG must be as financially strapped as us Canadians,eh? "How so "he says. ' Well look, they can't even afford a courtesy flag' Turns out he was the master of the cutter. After some more cordial banter,he sent a man up to the flag store.I'm pleased to report that the USCG flies a courtesy flag in this foreign port.
Most unfortunate. I know US Navy ships are very careful about flying courtesy flags in foreign ports.
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post #37 of 58 Old 03-07-2013
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Re: Courtesy Flags

Silvio, etc.,
That's fine; I think it's good that we all have different experiences and knowledge and can compare both the on-the-books rules and their practical enforcement in different places. It seems that different countries (and sometimes different officials within a country) care about different things.

So, with regard to Q and the courtesy flag, there a be
(1) countries that don't care one little bit (USA),
(2) countries that regard it as more of a tradition or courtesy -- but might have individual officials who could get difficult if their "country's honor is not being respected" via courtesy flags,
and
(3) countries where at least the Q is a legal requirement and may at least in theory have fines or penalties for failure to comply UK).

And each port or country may have its pet peeves or requirements that they particularly focus upon, such as giving advance notice in the right manner, etc.
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post #38 of 58 Old 03-08-2013
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Re: Courtesy Flags

There are kits to make your own courtesy flags. I think Sailrite has a pattern book for sale. Remember that courtesy flags are sometimes not the same as national flags (as with British red duster). I made a few flags. They are quite time consuming to make and kinda not worth the effort unless very simple, like the French tri-color or plain yellow Q. Some flags are really complicated. They may be one of those things that are better left to flag-makers unless you're really good with detailed work on a sewing machine or have a lot of patience (which I do not).

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post #39 of 58 Old 03-08-2013
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Re: Courtesy Flags

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Originally Posted by paul323 View Post
On the subject of flags...scenario: a British captain in an American boat. Where should the Red Ensign be flown? I think half way up the backstay is acceptable, as is the starboard spreader (above the club burgee). Clearly off the flagpole would be unacceptable. Thoughts?
The link provided earlier in response to this question didn't address the issue of the British captain, so I'll amplify the good information contained in the link and add a few comments.

Inside the US you can probably do what you please...you may not be correct, but few people will give a hoot as long as the vessel's national flag is at the stern.

Outside the US you should follow protocol as local officials are much more likely to notice. The flag on the transom (or up the backstay) denotes the nationality of the vessel. American boat = American flag (yacht ensigns shouldn't be used outside the US). The British skipper can indicate the presence of foreign (to the vessel's nationality) persons aboard by flying their national flags (small size like the courtesy flags) from the port flag haulyard . The starboard flag haulyard is reserved for the courtesy flag (national flag of the country you're in).

If you want to fly a pirate flag, or a cocktail flag, or "I caught a fish" flag, do it from the port flag haulyard. These are what's referred to as "private signals". I shall not comment on what they signal as it might offend some gathered here.
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Last edited by billyruffn; 03-08-2013 at 01:23 PM.
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post #40 of 58 Old 03-08-2013
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Re: Courtesy Flags

In the absence of anything to attach the flags in question, I would jury-rig some sort of pole or whip on the starboard side, next the to mast, in order to comply with the rules. Make sure you also show your country flag on the stern, possibly from the backstay, but don't go too high with it either and keep the flag in proportion with the length of your boat (if you have no backstay, jury-rig that, too). To keep the flag size in proportion the suggestion is that the length of the flag equals 1 inch for every 1 foot of boat length. Some folks fly huuuuge flags, for no real good reason.
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