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American flag flying Etiquette

Old 06-08-2019, 06:20 PM
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Default American flag flying Etiquette

I know flying an American flag is not appropriate on the bow...but I'm having a hard time finding a straight answer if the etiquette is the same for the Yacht Ensign, or can the Yacht Ensign (Betsy Ross flag with a fouled anchor inside the circle of stars) be flown from the bow?

I could swear I read somewhere the only American flag to be flown from the bow was the Yacht Ensign, but now I can't find it. Chapman's gives the reasons and history of the YE, but isn't specific about the appropriateness of flying it from the bow. Does anyone have a definitive answer?

Dan
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Old 06-08-2019, 08:36 PM
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IMO, if you want to fly your American Flag form your bow, by all means Do it!

Fly it from your antenna, outrigger poles, or a pole anywhere on your boat. Nothing wrong with showing patriotism anywhere you want.
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Old 06-08-2019, 08:42 PM
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Just Google American Maritime Flag Ettiquite...it's all there . And thanks for educating yourself ....lot of stupid people out there .
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Old 06-08-2019, 08:49 PM
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Proper flag etiquete says that the ensign (Fowled anchor) is to be flown by documented vessels. State registered vessels would fly the American flag.
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Old 06-08-2019, 10:32 PM
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Originally Posted by NedLloyd View Post
Proper flag etiquete says that the ensign (Fowled anchor) is to be flown by documented vessels. State registered vessels would fly the American flag.
yeah, even according to Chapman's, (and the power squdron) that's been updated and the YE is flown by all recreational boats, and NOT limited to documented vessels...thanks.
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Old 06-08-2019, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Kirby349 View Post
Just Google American Maritime Flag Ettiquite...it's all there . And thanks for educating yourself ....lot of stupid people out there .
thanks and I have. I am one to respect our flag, and hate when skippers fly the US flag from the bow as it's against etiquette, even if I admired their patriotism. However, I simply cant find a distinction in etiquette between the US flag and the Yacht Ensign, when in was sure I had in the past...maybe I'm one of the stupid ones...
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Old 06-08-2019, 11:41 PM
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"On American soil, no flag may be flown higher than the American flag nor to the right of it"
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Old 06-09-2019, 12:03 AM
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The ensign, is the ensign, is the ensign. If you choose to fly the betsy ross ensign it should be held in the same regard as the ensign until in international waters. The height rule does not apply to a vessel. The aft is considered the pinnacle position. "Motor boats without masts should always fly the ensign from an ensign staff at the stern. Conventionally, courtesy flags are flown from the jackstaff at the bow. This seems to some landsmen as being a reversal of priorities. However, a boat is steered by the stern and this gives it pride of place." If your talking about a flagged yacht please disregard.

Here is the reference https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maritime_flag

As a navy man, when it comes to recreational vessels, fly it however you can with pride! Its always a beauty to behold.
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Old 06-09-2019, 01:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Capt Morgan View Post
I simply cant find a distinction in etiquette between the US flag and the Yacht Ensign
There is none inside US waters. Outside US waters, fly Old Glory as there is no international recognition of the yacht ensign.
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Old 06-09-2019, 04:35 AM
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Home country’s flag off the transom.
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Old 06-09-2019, 04:38 AM
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Highest and proudest
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Old 06-09-2019, 05:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Capt Morgan View Post
yeah, even according to Chapman's, (and the power squdron) that's been updated and the YE is flown by all recreational boats, and NOT limited to documented vessels...thanks.
Ahh,... Thank you. Obviously some of my knowledge is a bit dated. Lol
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Old 06-09-2019, 05:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Lprizman View Post
Highest and proudest
came here to say this.
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Old 06-09-2019, 06:03 AM
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Not sure if it’s proper but people actually salute my flags when passing.
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Old 06-09-2019, 06:13 AM
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Just want to echo that the bow location of a flag is a "courtesy" ; a sign of respect.
As a foreign-flagged vessel in US waters, we fly the US flag on the bow and our flag at the stern.
When in the Bahamas, for eg., the Bahamian flag replaces the US flag.
But...to be honest...more often then not, I fly NO flag!
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Old 06-09-2019, 06:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Reel 007 View Post
"On American soil, no flag may be flown higher than the American flag nor to the right of it"
Originally Posted by Lprizman View Post
Highest and proudest

Here's the issue I've been having in the Keys. Too many boat operators are flying a 3' x 5' American flag while anchored up and with divers in the water. The required dive flag when divers or snorkelers are in the water is only 20" x 24". There's way too many times where I'm looking at a boat from a distance and thinking "divers in the water, no divers in the water???" The FAC for dive flags is that the dive flag MUST be flown "from the highest point of the vessel".

To me, the best part about boating is being able to exercise your personal freedom. Fish, dive, cruise, float, troll, get enough drinks in the girl so she takes off her top, etc. Fly 10 flags, no flags, the skull and crossbones or the rainbow flag. However, being on the water comes with responsibility. If you're responsible for the safety of your divers, stow your American flag when you have divers in the water, once diving operations have ceased, stow your divers down flag and redeploy Old Glory.
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Old 06-09-2019, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Reel 007 View Post
"On American soil, no flag may be flown higher than the American flag nor to the right of it"


Seems like that is what I always understood however let me ask a STUPID question.

I assume the “right of the flag” is looking from Bow to Stern ??? For some reason I always thought it was to be on the starboard side of a boat

I have an American Flag and a Clemson Flag That I put in rocket launchers on T Top I always have my American Flag on Starboard side and Clemson on Port but have always wondered if I was following flag protocol . See it done all kind of ways on the water
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Old 06-09-2019, 07:02 AM
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I make sure the made in China tag is visible at all times.
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Old 06-09-2019, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by alligatorgar View Post
I make sure the made in China tag is visible at all times.
Hmmmm.........Perhaps you need to find a new vendor????
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Old 06-09-2019, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by alligatorgar View Post
I make sure the made in China tag is visible at all times.
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