Compass Marine | Flags
is a combination of law, good manners and tradition. Being ill-informed
of your obligations could lead you to cause insult at home or abroad by
giving a signal you do not intend to give, or could lead you to a fine
for breaking the law" RYA official Website
Ensigns - these are flags
allocated the most senior position at the back of the boat and will
denote the nationality of the vessel - UK boats should wear the Red Ensign unless entitled to wear a Special Ensign.
Courtesy Flags -
these are flown by visiting boats in foreign waters as a sign of
respect.They are flown on single masted vessels from the starboard
spreaders along with any signalling flags. On a multi-masted vessel they
are customarily worn at the foremasthead, or from the jackstaff of
vessels without masts. The only flag allowed to be flown above a Courtesy Flag is the Burgee which should be on the masthead
The flagstaffs are available in different styles and lengths.
Click here for our guide to choosing the right sized flag
- It is a requirement of maritime law that a UK vessel flies an Ensign from the stern
- You should only fly an Ensign never Crosses of St George or St Andrew, the Union Jack or the Welsh Dragon as these are land flags and could be confused with signalling flags
- Click here for our guide on how to choose the correct sized flag for your craft.
Courtesy flags are not a legal requirement for visiting craft but courtesy flags should always be flown to show that you respect the laws and sovereignty of the country
- Tatty and faded courtesy flags may cause offence in a port
- If you wish to fly an area flag e.g. Devon or Bretton, the flag would be flown BELOW the National flag
- They should be flown from either the masthead, starboard spreader or port spreader
- We have flagpole holders that can be screwed straight onto the deck
- We also have flagpole holders which attach to a rail
- Available for standard 25mm flagpoles as well as smaller 19mm flagpoles
- Most boats carry a set of signal flags.
- Some signal flags are mandatory when entering ports, others are a back up in the case of electronic failure.
- It is also nice to have a set of signal flags so you can 'dress overall' on important British days or in the presence of a Royal Standard
- Click here for our guide to signal flags and their meanings.
|Bunting & Novelty Flags|
- Signal Flag Bunting is a nice little extra for days when you want to be 'dressed overall' at a regatta or other special occasion
- Why not add a touch of humour with our novelty flag range
- Not a requirement but a nice thing to have!