A Question of Flag Etiquette

The question is:- "If the stern on a sloop is the senior flag position and the burgee senior position is the mast head, the next senior position being beneath the stbd spreader, the least senior being the port spreader….. Then if no flag or burgee is flown from the mast head or stbd spreader is it acceptable to fly the burgee from the port spreader in conjunction with an ensign at the stern?"

The RYA's line on this is as follows:-
"Any suggestion that you may use the port spreaders for your Burgee is incorrect. That is inferior to the courtesy flag."

The reason is that the stbd spreader is for signals. The port spreader is for house flags eg to signify membership of an organisation such as the RNLI or the RYA. The RYA continues to deprecate the use of the stbd spreader for a burgee, but it has become commonplace.



One Response

  1. robbie says:

    Pardon the plug but further advice on the etiquette can be found in Reeds Maritime Flag Handbook, only £7-99.
    regards Rob Storrar