Flying the American flag

Discussion in 'Ask All Sailors' started by Chief RA, Jul 11, 2019 at 12:17 PM. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Chief RA

    Chief RA

    Joined Nov 26, 2012
    2,301 posts, 95 likes
    Catalina 250
    US Bodega Bay CA
    What is the general opinion of flying the American flag at highest position just below the starboard spreader? Maybe pennants such as US Army, US Navy (served in both) below her? On my Catalina 250 stern or mast flying of American flag does not work well since I have solar panels across the stern. Chief
     


  2. Jackdaw

    Jackdaw

    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    10,421 posts, 3,423 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    Not the National Ensign.. On the transom, or above on the centerline on the backstay or gaff.
     


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  3. Justin_NSA

    Justin_NSA

    Joined Jul 7, 2004
    5,721 posts, 1,257 likes
    Hunter 30T
    US Cheney, KS
    Here we go again ;)
     


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  4. Jackdaw

    Jackdaw

    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    10,421 posts, 3,423 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI


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  5. Justin_NSA

    Justin_NSA

    Joined Jul 7, 2004
    5,721 posts, 1,257 likes
    Hunter 30T
    US Cheney, KS
    That link should maybe be a sticky. Good, consistent info.
     


  6. victorhoisington

    victorhoisington

    Joined Jan 22, 2008
    251 posts, 58 likes
    Islander Freeport, 41 Ketch
    US Longmont, CO
    I agree with the backstay, no real room for a pole on the stern due to solar and davit placements.
     


  7. Chief RA

    Chief RA

    Joined Nov 26, 2012
    2,301 posts, 95 likes
    Catalina 250
    US Bodega Bay CA
    Jackdaw: After 21 yrs military service I know exact proper concept but it is NOT practical to fly her on stern or backstay. Have tried back stay and it is not practical plus solar panels are in the way for stern pole.(backstay is split) Just wondering if there are any exceptions tolerated to policy. May fly her on yardarm anyway after serving 9 war campaigns! Chief
     


  8. Jackdaw

    Jackdaw

    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    10,421 posts, 3,423 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    You don't need to read your resume to me. You asked a specific question, I gave you a specific answer. Read the flag code, then do what you want. You're the only one that will need to tolerate it.
     


  9. Chief RA

    Chief RA

    Joined Nov 26, 2012
    2,301 posts, 95 likes
    Catalina 250
    US Bodega Bay CA
    Jackdaw: was not intended to upset you. Didn't ask for specific, that was the point ,was asking "general opinion". Chief
     


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  10. shemandr

    shemandr

    Joined Jan 1, 2006
    4,021 posts, 947 likes
    Marblehead Skiff 14'
    US Greenport, NY
    The "Ensign" and the American Flag are different. Does each have its own rules for display? Do the etiquette rules for the American Flag (Folding, disposal, lighting, hours of display etc.) apply to the Ensign?
     


  11. Chief RA

    Chief RA

    Joined Nov 26, 2012
    2,301 posts, 95 likes
    Catalina 250
    US Bodega Bay CA
    shemandr: Far as I know the 2 are not different. Chief
     


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  12. kloudie1

    kloudie1

    Joined Nov 6, 2006
    8,368 posts, 781 likes
    Hunter 34
    US Mandeville Louisiana
    After a race, and some tequila, we “borrowed “ one from a yacht club. We flew it from the mast as a mainsail would be carried, but with no clew. It was 25 feet tall on the mast! Pretty spectacular but we were persuaded to return it to the club. It looked mighty fine as we motored along in the Intercoastal. Probably not good etiquette, but we got applause from the shore in many places!
     


  13. shemandr

    shemandr

    Joined Jan 1, 2006
    4,021 posts, 947 likes
    Marblehead Skiff 14'
    US Greenport, NY
    There was a ketch on LI's East End who flew an enormous American Flag from their mizzen mast. Probably not correct but it was a stirring sight. But I like to use due respect for the veterans who have served and others who care about way either the flag or Ensign are displayed.
     


  14. AlastairLC

    AlastairLC

    Joined Jan 2, 2017
    485 posts, 180 likes
    O'Day 322
    US Lake Pleasant
    If you have a pushpit with a central upright, you should be able to attach a flagpole to it with two hose clamps and fly the ensign from it. That’s what I did and it works fine.
     


  15. Chief RA

    Chief RA

    Joined Nov 26, 2012
    2,301 posts, 95 likes
    Catalina 250
    US Bodega Bay CA
    Would take one hell of a pole to get the flag high enough above the solar panels so it would not hit them! I will check though, thanks. Chief
     


  16. victorhoisington

    victorhoisington

    Joined Jan 22, 2008
    251 posts, 58 likes
    Islander Freeport, 41 Ketch
    US Longmont, CO
    IN place of the back stay, I've used the topping lift. But I also, understand its not always easy to reach others. As long as it is flown with the highest position available you can fly it most any way you want. Starboard spreader works if all others are vacant.

    I believe if you look the order would be something like this
    1. Back stay/topping lift 1/3 from the masthead
    2. Stern flag pole
    3. Starboard spreader

    I also understand there should be 1" of hoist for every foot of boat so 30" tall flag is appropriate for a 30' boat.

    Fair winds
     


  17. All U Get

    All U Get

    Joined Oct 2, 2008
    2,985 posts, 641 likes
    Pearson/ 530
    US Strafford, NH
    I've been reading a few stories of the schooners of old. Many would not display the colors until they sited another boat. With solar panels on the dinghy davits, a radar dome, wind generator, and SSB antenna all in the stern I can still find some way to display the colors long enough to tatter two flags a season. I feel the 3 X 5 foot size is about right for our boat.
     


  18. Ward H

    Ward H

    Joined Nov 7, 2011
    2,390 posts, 574 likes
    Catalina 30 Mk II
    US Barnegat, NJ
    As Jackdaw said
    But you asked for opinions.
    IMHO, attempt to follow the flag code. If that is not possible, I wouldn't object to flying it from another respectful location. I wouldn't consider flying it where it could be fouled by a sail as being respectful. For example: Flying it from the spreaders while in port would OK with me. Flying it from the spreaders while sailing wouldn't be. Raising the flag in any location and leaving it fly until its shredded really irritates me. I've gone as far as leaving a replacement on a boat whose owner was flying a shredded flag and the new one was flying next time I saw the boat.
    Heck, now a days you see flags flying from car windows, pickup truck beds and the back of fire trucks.
    Just be respectful.
     


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  19. All U Get

    All U Get

    Joined Oct 2, 2008
    2,985 posts, 641 likes
    Pearson/ 530
    US Strafford, NH
    Once I had the thought to have a sailmaker sew me a genoa all blue with white stars. Then do the main with red and white stripes. I’d fly them just on holidays or when passing some of the military bases along the east coast. My wife said as soon as I get everything else fixed. Well there you go.
     


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  20. Chief RA

    Chief RA

    Joined Nov 26, 2012
    2,301 posts, 95 likes
    Catalina 250
    US Bodega Bay CA
    Thanks, asked for opinions and appreciated the returns. More than most anyone, I do not want to offend, and as I said; I have served this nation and this flag like few others. Chief
     




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