Flag rules have their structure in the historic maritime traditions and codes of the merchant ships as well as navies of the world. It can be rather detailed as well as involved, yet it’s greater than the majority of recreational sailors need to recognize. A full immersion in the steeped conventions of the use of flags on the high seas is seldom needed in close range of a coastal marina or anchorage.

I do not think I’m alone when I see the confusion that still exists where this tradition of recreational boating is concerned. Whatever the factor, seafarers may need a little explanation in view of the inconsistencies on the topic. To make sure, there are myriad kinds of maritime flags with distinguishing marks as well as forms, however, in this discussion, I’ll narrow the area to leisure boats, power, and also sail, and also focus on the standard regulations of flag placement.


One of the most elderly placements for a flag on a vessel goes to its stern. It was traditional during the Roman Empire for Roman ships to carry little spiritual statues or puppies on the aft deck section of a ship; a sacred place booked for prayer. You have actually possibly listened to the term “poop deck” which is the deck that creates the roof covering of a cabin integrated into the back part of the superstructure of a ship at its stern.

The demanding became regarded as a place of authority and respect in the generations that followed; it was where the captain’s quarters could be discovered. It remains to be an area of honor on a vessel to today and also it’s where the nationwide flag or derivative of it can be happily presented.

The ensign, the nationwide shades, is rectangle-shaped in design, often a 1:2 or 3:5 ratio of width to length. It should be flown from personnel off the strict unless it interferes with the operation of the vessel like a boom that extends over the demanding. Ought to this be the case it can be flown from a backstay from the aftermost mast, at the top of the gaff * or the leech ** of an aftermost sail. (see terms listed below).

The ensign ought to be flown, according to practice, between 8:00 a.m. and sundown. If you plan to leave your boat and also don’t expect to return prior to sundown you ought to take it down; the ensign should never be flown at night.

A few instances of ensigns flown in the western hemisphere are the following:

The United States: The 50-star “Old Magnificence”, the Stars as well as Stripes or the U.S. Luxury Yacht Ensign, a fouled anchor over a circle of 13 stars. For additional tips and information, check out LightTheMinds to know more.

The United Kingdom: The “Union Jack”, the national flag, with its 3 superimposed red and white crosses on a blue background is scheduled for battleships. The “Red Ensign”, the flag of much less appealing maritime traditions, is the ensign for leisure seafarers. It’s a warning with the “Union Jack” shown in the top left quadrant.

Canada: The Maple Fallen leave, the national flag, is the preferred ensign for all Canadian vessels. It includes two upright bands of red with a red maple fallen leave focused as well as decorated on a white history.


The burgee is typically a triangular fit, your normal pennant, embellished with the distinguishing characteristics of the yacht club or boating company it represents. The burgee takes the following most senior position on a vessel, normally the major masthead or starboard spreader or backstays. In a powerboat, the burgee flies off a short team on the bow. It can be flown both while underway and also at anchor.