Flag, Burgee & Pennant Etiquette


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Daria Blackwell
Daria Blackwell
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[quote="bbalme" post=2119]So, with all the recent turmoil about flying the burgee, I 'm considering putting up a pig stick...

What do other people use?

Is an old fishing pole (rod) a viable candidate for improvising?[/quote]


Yes, Alex made one from an old fishing rod. It was quite elegant. But it still caused problems with the electronics. We got it tangled up once and had to climb the mast. That was the last time we used it.

Vice Commodore, OCC 
David Tyler
David Tyler
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I 've been in USAnian and Canadian waters for quite a while, now, and I just love the way some of the local sailors fly their ensign at the starboard spreader! Presumably in imitation of the way we foreigners fly our courtesy flags. :dry:

Having an unstayed mast and no spreaders, I have to improvise a bit. The courtesy flag flies from a halyard running through a thimble seized on halfway up the topping lift. The burgee gets hoisted on a masthead halyard, a little way short of the masthead (of course, I should be flying a house flag). I 'd like to fly the burgee at the masthead, properly, but the OCC burgee is not supplied in a suitable form - the toggle has to be cut off and some arrangement made to mount it on a staff. I 've mentioned this to our Commodore, and something might be done about it. Particularly as he likes to fly his pennant in the proper place :lol:
Daria Blackwell
Daria Blackwell
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David,
While in the Americas, you can get a burgee from OCC Member Greta Gustaffson that has grommets instead of toggle. It is also of very durable nylon.

http://www.im-embroidery.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=IE&Category_Code=B

Vice Commodore, OCC 
dcaukill
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Here is a sketch of a simple tubular post attached at the mast head onto which we hoist our pig stick flying our pennant.

It means that each evening, when you strike the ensign, you can also strike your burgee without having to climb the mast. No, really you can....
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BurgeeFitting.pdf (135 views, 235.00 KB)
ER
ER
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The full extent of my vexillology lies in this little book I have: Reeds Maritime Flag Handbook edited by Miranda Delmar-Morgan and published by Adlard Coles / Bloomsbury. I think it covers all our situations, ensigns, courtesy flags, burgees and house flags. http://www.bloomsbury.com/us/reeds-maritime-flag-handbook-9781472907400/
Daria Blackwell
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Pursuant to the flag etiquette discussion, here's a document describing the rules for Australians. 
https://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Flag-etiquette.pdf

Vice Commodore, OCC 
Daria Blackwell
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And a note about American flag etiquette from Scuttlebutt: 

Breaking the rules of yachting etiquette
Published on July 30th, 2019
by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
While I did not find it in the Racing Rules of Sailing, there seems to be a general consensus that I have been guilty of perhaps an even greater infringement. You see, when we race our Alerion 28, we display an ensign off a stern staff, and I never knew that was against yachting etiquette.

I knew how the flag display was only from 0800 until sunset, and that its length should be one inch for every one foot of boat length. I knew I had the option of either the usual 50-star national flag or a special flag called the yacht ensign that, in place of the 50 stars standing for the states, depicts a fouled anchor on a field of 13 stars.

However, I did not know that whenever a US boat is taken into international or foreign waters, the 50-star U.S. ensign is the proper flag to fly and the yacht ensign cannot be displayed.

I also did not know we had New York Yacht Club to thank for the second flag. It turns out that prior to the enactment of income tax laws in the early twentieth century, the US federal government obtained most of its operating funds from the collection of tariffs and customs duties levied on foreign goods entering American harbors.

All vessels were subject to inspection, including private yachts, and as the popularity of yachting increased, the burden of customs inspections became tiresome and unnecessary.

In 1847, NYYC Commodore Stevens proposed to the Secretary of the Treasury that private yachts not engaged in trade or commerce be exempt from inspection. The Secretary, fully aware of the manpower required to inspect each and every yacht entering a port, agreed to propose legislation that would allow the Treasury Department to license yachts and let such yachts carry a signal of the form, size and colors prescribed by the Secretary of the Navy.

At the Secretary of the Navy’s request, the New York Yacht Club recommended in January 1849, “The American Ensign with the addition of a foul anchor in the union be adopted….” Thus, the American yacht ensign was created, and it is still used today.

But most of all, I did not know how any ensign should not be displayed while the boat is racing. I did not find a definitive reason for this, other than perhaps to differentiate racers from daysailors. Regardless, I hold myself to a higher standard (when possible) and will seek to do better. Onward!

https://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/2019/07/30/breaking-the-rules-of-yachting-etiquette/

Vice Commodore, OCC 
Dick
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Bill Balme - 5/29/2015
So, with all the recent turmoil about flying the burgee, I 'm considering putting up a pig stick...Seems it 's not possible to buy one - so I have to make one or improvise... I found a very nice description of a pretty elaborate pig stick design on the web - but at a cost of parts amounting to over $200... That 's a bit rich! http://www.tartan3500.com/uploads/3/1/1/9/3119926/pigstickrev2.pdfWhat do other people use?Is an old fishing pole (rod) a viable candidate for improvising?

Hi all,

Flags are a form of communication. Those that are dictated by international and national rules should be scrupulously followed and it is good to be reminded every now and again of their dictates, especially any particular national rules that might not be well advertised.

BTW, Daria, that was fascinating history: thanks for sharing.

Those “recreational” flags are governed by their own particular organizations with varying levels of implementing coherence, adherence and vehemence: sometimes allowing for comic relief when transgressions are aired.

A pet peeve of mine are those cruisers who allow their courtesy flags to get ratty: ok I also do not like an ensign to get ratty, but at least it is your own country. To me a courtesy flag allowed to get ratty is dis-courteous and should be remedied.

My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy
Dick
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Dick - 8/1/2019
Bill Balme - 5/29/2015
So, with all the recent turmoil about flying the burgee, I 'm considering putting up a pig stick...Seems it 's not possible to buy one - so I have to make one or improvise... I found a very nice description of a pretty elaborate pig stick design on the web - but at a cost of parts amounting to over $200... That 's a bit rich! http://www.tartan3500.com/uploads/3/1/1/9/3119926/pigstickrev2.pdfWhat do other people use?Is an old fishing pole (rod) a viable candidate for improvising?

Hi all,

Flags are a form of communication. Those that are dictated by international and national rules should be scrupulously followed and it is good to be reminded every now and again of their dictates, especially any particular national rules that might not be well advertised.

BTW, Daria, that was fascinating history: thanks for sharing.

Those “recreational” flags are governed by their own particular organizations with varying levels of implementing coherence, adherence and vehemence: sometimes allowing for comic relief when transgressions are aired.

A pet peeve of mine are those cruisers who allow their courtesy flags to get ratty: ok I also do not like an ensign to get ratty, but at least it is your own country. To me a courtesy flag allowed to get ratty is dis-courteous and should be remedied.

My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy

Alchemy pig stick
Hi Bill
I took a square piece of teak of a length (make sure there are no knots or weak spots) that I wished and planed and sanded the edges till well blunted. I bought stainless steel rings to fit over the pole. I positioned the rings with turks heads about the distance apart that the hoist on the burgee dictates. The rings were free to rotate easily but limited in there up and down movement by the turks heads. I made shallow indents where I tie the flag halyard on with rolling hitches.
Attach the burgee and hoist away.
Total cost was far less than the burgee.
Be particularly careful of expensive and fragile equipment that may share area at the truck of the mast.
A few years ago John Franklin in one of the OCC communications had plans for a permanent install of a pigstick which may have appeal.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy

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