What is the correct courtesy flag to use in UK waters?

Discussions on flags used in Europe.
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Sammy
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What is the correct courtesy flag to use in UK waters?

Postby Sammy » 20 Apr 2015 18:44

I read in a Flag Institute publication that the correct courtesy flag for a visiting warship in British waters is the White Ensign, however any warship I have seen visiting including Commonwealth vessels who use and understand the red,white,blue ensign system (and I have seen a handful both in NI & Plymouth) have used the Union Jack. Which is correct?
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PeteCollier
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Re: What is the correct courtesy flag to use in UK waters?

Postby PeteCollier » 29 Apr 2015 20:05

With regard to civil vessels, the RYA advises:

"A word on courtesy flags, most countries use their national flag at sea and it is therefore not uncommon to see a foreign visitor flying a Union Jack as a courtesy flag when visiting UK waters. This is wrong; the correct flag is always a Red Ensign. There is no legal requirement to fly a courtesy flag; it is a courtesy that acknowledges that the vessel will respect the laws and sovereignty of that country. However, if one is not flown or it is tatty or faded, it may cause grave offence and in some countries can lead to a fine."

PeteCollier
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Re: What is the correct courtesy flag to use in UK waters?

Postby PeteCollier » 29 Apr 2015 20:18

www.luxe-motor-kei.co.uk/documents/Nava ... nsigns.pdf, citing the 'The Queen's Regulations for the Royal Navy' (QRRN; BR 2), the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 and 'Flags of All Nations' (BR 20):

"Her Majesty's ships do not normally hoist courtesy flags when entering, laying alongside or leaving Commonwealth or foreign ports,
as the use of courtesy flags is exclusive to the merchant service. Commanding Officers however have discretion to fly a courtesy
flag subject to diplomatic advice.

Merchant ships, when entering a foreign port, and during their stay in that port, customarily fly the civil colours of that country at the
yardarm, and when leaving fly the civil ensign of the country to which they are immediately bound. This practice is followed by
Royal Fleet Auxiliary and Royal Maritime Auxiliary Service vessels when operating on their own and not in company with Her
Majesty's ships or the warships of an allied nation.

The use of a Union Flag as a courtesy ensign by foreign vessels in UK ports is incorrect. The White Ensign is the appropriate
masthead flag to be hoisted by Commonwealth and foreign warships during ceremonial exchanges while engaged in the United
Kingdom. When dressing ship on ceremonial occasions, the correct masthead flag to be flown by Commonwealth or foreign
civilian-manned government service vessels is the Blue Ensign, and the Red Ensign by Commonwealth or foreign merchant
vessels."

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Sammy
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Joined: 26 Apr 2012 20:47
Location: Londonderry. (N.I) United Kingdom

Re: What is the correct courtesy flag to use in UK waters?

Postby Sammy » 06 May 2015 13:28

thank for the info thats what I thought :)

dasy2k1
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Location: uk

Re: What is the correct courtesy flag to use in UK waters?

Postby dasy2k1 » 19 Jun 2015 23:05

Sea scouts can fly a red ensign defaced by a scouting fleur de lis if they so wish as a courtesy flag but the red ensign defaced with a scouting fleur de lis crowned with an admiralty crown (shown below) is reserved for royal navy recognised groups
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