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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Flag etiquette queries
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Thread: Flag etiquette queries Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
04-23-2008 10:18 PM
WRD110
Union Jack

I seem to recall being corrected on calling the British National Flag the "Union Jack". It is correctly termed the Union Flag.

The Jack is the Union Flag with a white border (Also called the pilot jack). This flag is not the ensign on British ships but also worn on British ships above the stem, flying from the "Jack Staff".

Regarding the Queen's flag - the royal standard is flown above the royal residence (e.g. Buckingham Palace) whenever she is occupying that residence. The Royal Standard is not the Union Flag, and is quite grand.
04-17-2008 11:04 PM
LittleMissMagic Got it. Does anyone have a picture of this? Don't believe I've ever seen one.
04-17-2008 04:58 PM
Boasun And you will fly your club's Burgee from the pig stick.
04-17-2008 04:51 PM
sailingdog LittleMissMagic-

A pig stick is a flagstaff that is raised on a halyard, and when raised fully, will extend up past the masthead.
04-17-2008 04:38 PM
LittleMissMagic Just some thoughts;
1. Pardon my ignorance but what exactly is a pigstick?

2. Please remember the meaning of the code alpha flag when you see it. As a commercial diver who frequently works in harbors and high traffic areas, if you see a vessel flying "alpha" (blue and white) there may be a diver in the water nearby. Even large ships may have some sort of subsurface work going on. THis flag also shows restricted movement as in the case of a dredge.

3. As for the U.S. flag on uniforms, as well as vehicles, the blue "union" should always be on the leading edge of the direction of travel. You'll notice this on the starboard side of aircraft as well.
04-17-2008 04:13 PM
KODAD Speaking of flag etiquette, I was always taught that the American flag should always be displayed with the field of blue in the upper left corner, however while watching news reports of Iraq, I notice the flag on the uniforms have the field of blue in the upper right corner. Did I miss a memo?
04-17-2008 01:43 PM
Valiente I don't need to emigrate to Britain, Lyn, as I already hold dual citizenship. But the boat is Canadian, so I suppose I could shuttle back and forth between Britain, Ireland and France as needed if I thought we would be in the neighbourhood that long. We might, on the other hand, overwinter in Britain, although I'd rather hang out in Portugal...

Thanks for the confirmation that the Red Ensign is the proper British courtesy flag. The Cross of St. Andrew would be merely a bit of cheekiness, although my experiences clearing into Scotland from Irish ferries would suggest that the Scots are quite partial to being identified as "not England" and that an ingenuous if unnecessary question as to "don't I need a Scottish passport stamp?" will be treated with a smile.

Basically, it's an all-Canadian boat and crew, unless for some reason I need to establish my personal "Britishness", for instance were I to take an RYA course: I would prefer not to pay the damned foreigner's rate!

On the other hand, I think having an EU passport as the skipper is a form of insurance as sometimes Canada's consulates are few and far between compared to those of Britain should we require assistance of that nature.

But that's not a flag etiquette comment, really.
04-16-2008 10:38 PM
LynW As the one time officer responsible for flag permits (warrants) of a Royal YC in England, I can confirm the correctness of Idiens four answers.

While no-one will say anything, nevertheless many in England will consider it a little disrespectful if you fail to fly a courtesy Red Ensign. A Union Jack instead shows willing but is wrong. The EU flag is also wrong, and does not go down well in England. In Scotland they will appreciate a St Andrew's Cross, though strictly speaking that is wrong too.

You definitely must fly a yellow Q flag arrive in the UK, and show up at a proper port of entry. That does not include the Isles of Scilly, where a Customs patrol vessel sometimes buzzes arriving US/Canadian yachts to check they've cleared in properly elsewhere. Canadian yachts are not that common in England, and you may get an occasional spot check by Customs after entry. Its more likely in France and Spain though.

You should be granted 18 months Temporary Import Relief for the yacht, after which you would be considered to have imported it to the EU and must pay all taxes.

Full details of the rules relating to entry and tax are in HM Customs & Revenue Notice 8, available HERE. I don't know the rules regarding immigration, though I'm sure Canadian and US nationals (i) don't need a visa; (ii) must check into the UK even if arriving from another EU country, because we are not one of the EU 'Shengen agreement' states. Immigration is a separate department from Customs in the UK, but you contact Customs first on arrival by yacht who will advise, and possibly handle the immigration side.
04-16-2008 01:07 PM
Valiente Well, this thread has taken an interesting turn.
04-16-2008 10:37 AM
Plumper Boarding a foreign warship is considered an act of war, ergo the ship is sovereign property. Convention, if adhered to by enough states for long enough becomes law.
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