How did you fly a flag!

Jim Harris
24th March 2009, 12:47
On a British merchant ship in the 1970's, was there any etiquette
that had to be observed when hoisting flags?

What I mean is....

In a foreign port, was the 'Red Duster' raised first, then the host
country's courtesy flag and company house-flag?

Or was it the host country's flag first, then the 'Red Duster' and company house-flag?

And if you think that I'm being too pedantic, I remember an
occasion in Brazil when the wharfies walked off the job as the
smoke from the funnel was wafting over their national flag, and
deemed it highly disrespectful.

Regards,

Jim.

Baltic Wal
24th March 2009, 13:22
On a tramp we weren't too particular, raised them as we passed the lanyard, and red ensign usually stayed up.

K urgess
24th March 2009, 13:39
The Brazilians were always very particular.
God help you if they found any green or yellow bunting in the rag bag or covered in Brasso. (EEK)
People had been shot for less.

EJR Williams
24th March 2009, 13:50
You are right about Brazil Ship got fined for not having a double thickness flag
Re etiquette, didn't matter anyway we raised them before entering port limits & left them up until out, as for the Red duster that was always flying even at sea.

Mind London Docks 1976 Wharfies walked off, wanted embarassment money for loading wrapped porcelain toilets (I digress)

KYRENIA
24th March 2009, 14:45
On Shaw Savill in the 60`s the courtesy flag and house flag were "broke out" together at 08 00 followed by the red duster.All flags lowered at 17:00.
Whilst transiting the Panama i had to climb to the top of the foremast to unfurl the Stars and Stripes because the pilot wasn`t pleased it had got caught up on the lanyard and wasn`t flying properly !
Cheers John.

ROBERT HENDERSON
24th March 2009, 14:52
On Shaw Savill in the 60`s the courtesy flag and house flag were "broke out" together at 08 00 followed by the red duster.All flags lowered at 17:00.
Whilst transiting the Panama i had to climb to the top of the foremast to unfurl the Stars and Stripes because the pilot wasn`t pleased it had got caught up on the lanyard and wasn`t flying properly !
Cheers John.

Without wishing to be to pendantic, should that be hailyard and not lanyard.

Regards Robert

Kalamaki Bob
24th March 2009, 15:20
On the ships I was on with SSA it was 08:00 and Sunset - carefully calculated by the duty cadet. The flags were broken out however something at the back of my mind is telling me that the ensign wasn't broken out - just raised. The jack went up with the first line ashore and came down when last line let go.
Brazil had the 'Customs Flag' as well - a little blue and whte one I seem to remember.

James_C
24th March 2009, 15:31
Bobm
Brazil still has the Customs flag, it sees occasional use on my ship for calls at Rio.

Pat McCardle
24th March 2009, 15:57
Flags raised at 0800 & lowered at sunset or 2200, depending on latitude & time of year. Learned this at Gravesend Sea School prior to stepping foot aboard a ship.

trucker
24th March 2009, 17:01
remember in tiensin [commie china] poor cadets in charge of flags.halyard must have slipped,and courtesy flag ended up half way down halyard. red guards came aboard and the crew including old man .had to sit and listen to a sermon ,then apoligise.plenty little red books.[m.v hazelmoor].(EEK)famous leather case [more like a trunk]from the friendship club.thought it was 0800 till sunset no time specified at sunset [when the sun went down].in port.

oceangoer
24th March 2009, 22:35
Blue Flu 1958.
Jack, courtesy, house, & ensign up all together at 0800.

All down together at local sunset (as calculated by the 4th Mate).

Keltic Star
25th March 2009, 05:32
In Furness Withy and Prince Line; Flags raised at 0800, bow jack, courtesy ensign and house flag broken out when the Red Duster was raised and reached full staff. All flags lowered in sync at sunset. When in Malta or other RN ports, timing was taken from the Naval shore station flags. When meeting naval ships of any nationality at sea, the ensign was dipped and kept lowered until the naval ship had lowered and re-raised her ensign. That used to keep a cadet pretty busy going through the Straits of Gibraltar with the U.S. sixth fleet going in the opposite direction.

vasco
25th March 2009, 06:45
Without wishing to be to pendantic, should that be hailyard and not lanyard.

Regards Robert

neither, try halyard!(Jester)

J Boyde
25th March 2009, 08:45
I was on the Aralueln in Auckland, the NZS cadet ship (Okaio ?) was also in. We waited until they started flying their flags in the morning. From memory they had a bugle they sounded. Every ship in the port lifted their flags on their time
Jim B

Kalamaki Bob
25th March 2009, 10:20
In Furness Withy and Prince Line; Flags raised at 0800, bow jack, courtesy ensign and house flag broken out when the Red Duster was raised and reached full staff. All flags lowered in sync at sunset. When in Malta or other RN ports, timing was taken from the Naval shore station flags. When meeting naval ships of any nationality at sea, the ensign was dipped and kept lowered until the naval ship had lowered and re-raised her ensign. That used to keep a cadet pretty busy going through the Straits of Gibraltar with the U.S. sixth fleet going in the opposite direction.

'Dipping the ensign' used to be done when passing company ships as well. Junior ship dipped to the senior. As the fleets diminished in the 70's we got to do it less and less!
I still remember a time when I was on the Malvern Prince approaching Ashdod, Israel. The ship had a rather large ensign that was for laying out on the hatch top for identification iin case of entering hostile waters. I had the bright idea of flying it from the ensigh staff instead of the more usual 6 footer. The second mate went daft at me. The flag was so big it kept hitting him while he was trying to tie up! It wasn't a very big ship!!

mwebster56
25th March 2009, 11:41
You are right about Brazil Ship got fined for not having a double thickness flag
Re etiquette, didn't matter anyway we raised them before entering port limits & left them up until out, as for the Red duster that was always flying even at sea.

Mind London Docks 1976 Wharfies walked off, wanted embarassment money for loading wrapped porcelain toilets (I digress)

I am glad about this posting, as once when we were in Santos, the ship was fined because the Brazilian flag we were flying was deemed to be 'dirty'.
I have told this to people and they have not believed it so here is confirmation that such pedantic behaviour was rife over there.

EJR Williams
25th March 2009, 12:07
Try Venesuala, order the bribes over Ch16 before the pilot woud board to take you up the Orinoco to Ordaz

EJR Williams
25th March 2009, 12:12
PS It was Nov 1977 at Santos on the King Richard regarding the flag.

cboots
26th March 2009, 02:07
In my experience all the flag etiquette - or bullshit more accurately - lasted as long as apprentices remained as a source of cheap and easily bullied labour. When they were no longer in supply, flags were stuck up and left up.
CBoots

KIWI
26th March 2009, 04:26
On Palana in Malta we also raised & lowered flags in unison with naval ships.Apprentices practiced their timing before we reached Malta.The affect rather spoilt by an announcement immediately following over the Tannoy system on an American cruiser along these lines "Liberty guys glamorise & fall in abaft the smoke stack for inspection". KIWI

KIWI
26th March 2009, 04:32
Would add that the announcements over the whole time we were in Malta from American ships were great entertainment.An aircraft carrier was close to us so there was plenty.KIWI

oceangoer
26th March 2009, 05:05
In my experience all the flag etiquette - or bullshit more accurately - lasted as long as apprentices remained as a source of cheap and easily bullied labour. When they were no longer in supply, flags were stuck up and left up.
CBoots

Deary me. What a sad little comment.

Keltic Star
26th March 2009, 05:38
In my experience all the flag etiquette - or bullshit more accurately - lasted as long as apprentices remained as a source of cheap and easily bullied labour. When they were no longer in supply, flags were stuck up and left up.
CBoots

You are 100% correct cboots. I still like the olden day BS but must admit that in future years, any ship I managed stuck it up and left it up.

cboots
26th March 2009, 07:34
Deary me. What a sad little comment.

Well it's just that that sort of thing impresses some people.

One thing that did impress me in my days in the game was the tasks that were regarded as highly essential when the labour was there, that quickly became totally non-essential when the labour ceased to be available and/or the cost of it went up.
CBoots

Pat McCardle
26th March 2009, 10:26
In my experience all the flag etiquette - or bullshit more accurately - lasted as long as apprentices remained as a source of cheap and easily bullied labour. When they were no longer in supply, flags were stuck up and left up.
CBoots

A good honest answer that only a gentleman could make. (Thumb)

slick
26th March 2009, 10:42
All,
When I retired I decided to buy myself a Flagstaff and fly flags as and when I felt like it.
Amongst the Flags I have and fly are the Red Ensign (at half mast as the occasion calls for), the English Flag, Union Flag the Stars and Stripes, and the Three Leopards amongst others.
The essential "Gin Pennant" for those summer evenings.
I also joined the Flag Institute just to keep up with new flags and information.
Yes, of course it is bulls--t but of the best possible type and it gives me a sense of history and where we come from, denigrate and defile your flag and others will quickly follow suit.
Yours aye,
Slick
PS. Oh, yes and the wife says it sets the garden off a treat!

NoMoss
26th March 2009, 11:02
When I was 4th RO on Union-Castle mailships it was my job to play the music for flag raising and lowering. We had an LP of Marine band music and I had to drop the needle of the record player in the right spot to select the correct tune. A signal was given by the Bridge by way of a 'beep' on the PA and off I would go. On the South African coast it was not easy to get up in time to do the business after a hard night ashore/partying. The Junior 4th Officer would put me on the shake with a bottle of beer to get my heart started in time to get to my post.

Binnacle
26th March 2009, 11:57
Discharging in Tripoli, Libya, two officials came aboard and advised me that the courtesey flag was "broke", instructed me to report to HM office at ten o'clock, I pointed to my watch to show them it was now eleven o'clock. (language problems). Up at the HM office, after a lengthy wait, I suspected was deliberate, I was taken before an official and through an interpreter I explained that after a few weeks at anchor with the Libyan flag on the foremast being raised and lowered daily at sunrise and sunset the flag had come in contact with a well greased topping lift wire which explained how it was "broke". With the necessary hand raising gestures the enterpreter explained my rambling explanation. He seemed to be putting it over very well as there were mutterings from the assembled audience which I took to be approval. Happily I was released without a flogging and my lies about the sunset drill were accepted in good faith.
Lying in Long Beach on the day of President Kennedy's funeral the longshoremen complained that the US courtesey flag was not at half mast,
our explanation of flag etiquette being unaccepted we had to lower the courtesey flag to satisfy them.
Salvesen ship newly tied up in Trondheim, the mate sent for the bosun and explained that as tomorrow was Norwegian Independence day they would have to discuss arrangements for dressing ship overall. A bottle of whisky was produced and the bosun sat down with the mate and discussed the arrangement. Later the flag arrangements having been agreed, the bottle now being empty, the bosun went for'd and raised the Norwegian flag, and they both went happily to bed. The local agent in the port was highly amused when he related this tale, being not unfamiliar with Salvesen crew behaviour.

young ronnie
26th March 2009, 13:38
A few years back in Oban(my home port) and working a night shift,I tied up at the pier after landing with a small fishing boat. I was lying astern of a Dutch yacht,a lovely looking Baltic Trader,when,at 8 a.m. on the dot,came the sound of whistling and I was treated to the sight of 5 guys all standing to attention aft and whistling what I assumed was their national anthem while another chap slowly hoisted the colours.Now the unkind among us might think that the ultimate bull,but I thought it was a very impressive sight indeed,very respectful to their flag. Obviously a little ship run on big ship lines !!

NZSCOTTY
26th March 2009, 20:01
In my experience all the flag etiquette - or bullshit more accurately - lasted as long as apprentices remained as a source of cheap and easily bullied labour. When they were no longer in supply, flags were stuck up and left up.
CBoots

Well said sir.

I am proudly flying the Lion Rampant as my "captain's pendant"!! But oops I forgot to put an ensign up. AH well!

Ps I get the flag taken down at night as my supply from the company is limited.

Lancastrian
27th March 2009, 00:55
The correct routine, as established by the RN, is Colours at 0800 (0900 in winter), Sunset at the calculated time or 2100 if later. Timings "following the motions of the Senior Officer", controlled by the Prep pennant. Jack & Ensign should be hoisted (masthead flags broken out) and lowered simultaneously which of course takes more than one person!
Jacks are not worn when underway (except when dressed ship), Ensigns are worn when underway in harbour as long as there is enough light for them to be seen,
and at sea, sea ensigns are worn at the peak.

K urgess
27th March 2009, 02:22
Articles 74-75 of the Merchant Shipping Acts in force in the 60s and 70s
"A ship belonging to a British Subject is required to hoist the proper national colours:
(a) On a signal being made by one of Her Majesty's ships.
(b) On entering or leaving any foreign port.
(c) If of 50 tons gross or upwards, on entering or leaving any British port.
Penalty for default, £100, but the section does not apply to fishing boats duly lettered and numbered."

Article 73 also has some bearing -
"The Red Ensign usually worn by merchant ships, without any defacement or modifications, is the proper national colours for all ships and boats belonging to any British subject, except Her Majesty's ships or boats, or any ship or boat allowed to wear any other national colours in pursuance of a warrant from Her Majesty or from the Admiralty.* (* E.g. Blue Ensign by R.N.R. Officer and certain Yacht Clubs (Requirements revised 1.3.1958)). If any distinctive national colours except the Red Ensign or the Union Jack with a white border,* (*The stem-head Jack.) or if any colours usually worn by Her Majesty's ships or the pendant usually carried by Her Majesty's ships are hoisted without warrant on board any ship or boat belonging to any British subject, the master (or the owner if on board) and every person hoisting the colours or pendant is liable to a fine. The fine is £100 if the offence is prosecuted before magistrates, or £500 in a superior court. Any commissioned officer on full pay in Her Majesty's military or naval service, or any officer of Customs, or any British consular officer may board any ship on which any colours or pendant are hoisted contrary to the Act, and seize and take away the colours or pendant, which become forfeited."

cboots
27th March 2009, 08:35
Well our thanks must go to Marconi Sahib for filling us in on the legal picture; however, I don't think that too many people are going to be concerned these days on account of there not being much by way of British flagged shipping around, and I really can't believe that the powers that be in the Oompah Lumpah Islands could really give a toss whether you fly their flag or not.
CBoots

NZSCOTTY
27th March 2009, 09:25
Articles 74-75 of the Merchant Shipping Acts in force in the 60s and 70s
"A ship belonging to a British Subject is required to hoist the proper national colours:
(a) On a signal being made by one of Her Majesty's ships.
(b) On entering or leaving any foreign port.
(c) If of 50 tons gross or upwards, on entering or leaving any British port.
Penalty for default, £100, but the section does not apply to fishing boats duly lettered and numbered."

Article 73 also has some bearing -
"The Red Ensign usually worn by merchant ships, without any defacement or modifications, is the proper national colours for all ships and boats belonging to any British subject, except Her Majesty's ships or boats, or any ship or boat allowed to wear any other national colours in pursuance of a warrant from Her Majesty or from the Admiralty.* (* E.g. Blue Ensign by R.N.R. Officer and certain Yacht Clubs (Requirements revised 1.3.1958)). If any distinctive national colours except the Red Ensign or the Union Jack with a white border,* (*The stem-head Jack.) or if any colours usually worn by Her Majesty's ships or the pendant usually carried by Her Majesty's ships are hoisted without warrant on board any ship or boat belonging to any British subject, the master (or the owner if on board) and every person hoisting the colours or pendant is liable to a fine. The fine is £100 if the offence is prosecuted before magistrates, or £500 in a superior court. Any commissioned officer on full pay in Her Majesty's military or naval service, or any officer of Customs, or any British consular officer may board any ship on which any colours or pendant are hoisted contrary to the Act, and seize and take away the colours or pendant, which become forfeited."

Thank goodness I am not under the British Flag or I would be in the ****! Fortunately the NZ government has too many other things to worry about.

Lancastrian
27th March 2009, 10:11
Thank goodness I am not under the British Flag or I would be in the ****! Fortunately the NZ government has too many other things to worry about.
NZ legislation is based on the 1894 Act except where amended. As far as I can see Sections 73 and 75 are still in force.

marco nista
27th March 2009, 10:15
I recall Shell's refinery at Pulau Bukom, Singapore, in those far-off days when P&O had tankers - if there was a Trident tanker alongside you would hear a bugle call at dusk & see the ensign, courtesy flag & house flag being lowered simultaneously - the house flag was always a little behind the other flags & was the last to reach the deck.

As mentioned in earlier posts you had to be very careful in some ports with the courtesy flags - there could be problems if the flag was grubby or allowed to touch the deck or lashed somewhere convenient overnight.

One time in Philadelphia on a Sugar boat we got a reasonably friendly bollocking from the USCG for a mucky flag & a new courtesy flag was ordered - it came with comprehensive instruction sheet on how it was to be treated & I remember seeing that when the flag was worn out [you were'nt supposed to try to mend it] it was to be disposed of 'respectfully' ideally by burning [the local branch of the American Legion was suggested].

The US flag is not supposed to be used for commercial purposes which is why you don't often see it [in the US at least] incorporated into T-shirts or underpants or being used for 'commercial' purposes like the poor old Union Jack.

More info on the handing of the Stars & Stripes at -

http://www.flagkeepers.org/flagmaintenance.asp

The words 'top' 'over' & 'the' come to mind, not necessarily in that order.

Still rambling on about flags, I used to like the technique of running the flag up as a tightly wound bundle & then 'breaking it out' with a tug on the halyard at the appropriate moment.
I remember one Old Man who was very keen [obsessive ?] that the Pilot Flag was 'broken out' at the very moment that the pilot stepped aboard & woe betide the Apprentice who got it wrong !

73s

Marco

Fergus 62
27th March 2009, 17:57
Gentlemen
A slight deviation but still on the subject of flags. In my distant memory I recall when transiting the Elbe inbound to Hamburg in the 1960s there was a bar/sailing club or the like on the port hand bank which as each ship passed raised its country's ensign and played its National Anthem. Interesting when a couple of ships were going each direction line astern and passing at that point.
Can anyone else recall this practise

Fergus 62

trucker
27th March 2009, 18:01
Gentlemen
A slight deviation but still on the subject of flags. In my distant memory I recall when transiting the Elbe inbound to Hamburg in the 1960s there was a bar/sailing club or the like on the port hand bank which as each ship passed raised its country's ensign and played its National Anthem. Interesting when a couple of ships were going each direction line astern and passing at that point.
Can anyone else recall this practise

Fergus 62

yes used to dip the courtesy flag or red ensign.

EJR Williams
27th March 2009, 18:16
Recently visited Hamburg as a Tourist on our caravan tour of northern Europe, asked about the old bar on the last bend approaching the Harbour, more or less opposite what is now an Airbus factory, apparently the ship's national anthem is still played according to the harbour tour guide, it did bring back happy memories, & yes I personally have dipped the ensign there a few times.

trotterdotpom
27th March 2009, 18:29
That's the Willkom-Hoeft, Fergus. There's a fair bit about it on the web.

John T.

marco nista
27th March 2009, 18:40
Not far from Hamburg, at Rendsburg on the Kiel Canal, is a 'hailing station' run by local enthusiasts in association with an excellent nearby restaurant.

When it is manned the ship's national anthem is played & an announcement made with the ships details, destination etc.

The restaurant & hailing station are in the shadow of the huge Rendsburg railway bridge which has a transporter bridge running beneath the main span of the bridge.

Pix & info at -

http://www.rendsburg.de/Englisch/sehenswuerdigkeiten.html

I remember several other hailing stations in the 80s & earlier, at Quebec & San Pedro [California] but I dunno whether they are still operational.

73s

Marco

Ron Stringer
27th March 2009, 20:14
People on the quayside in Belfast did not take it too kindly when our apprentice raised the tricolour as the courtesy flag. ''Don't see what all the fuss is about, it's Ireland isn't it?''

We all got out alive.

Baltic Wal
27th March 2009, 20:44
September 1959 while on the RIBBLEHEAD we sailed into Konakry flying the French Tricolour and the H penant. We then hang around being ignored by the plot station. After an hour the agent rushed out in a launch. He was carrying the new national flag for us to fly. Having just had independence they would ignore the French flag. Once the correct one was flying the pilot actually came on board.

Such is pride.

NZSCOTTY
28th March 2009, 00:14
NZ legislation is based on the 1894 Act except where amended. As far as I can see Sections 73 and 75 are still in force.

Hey Lancastrian I am in Wellington at present (Power house capital of NZ) with only my Lion Rampant up. Hope you guys will post bail should the worst happen!

cboots
28th March 2009, 00:40
Yes I do recall that yacht club or whatever it was on the river to Hamburg, they must be well stuffed these days, I mean, who knows what the hell the national athem of the Outer Potosi Islands sounds like. To answer my own question, some old German duffer hanging about in a yacht club with nothing else on his mind I guess.
CBoots

Alistair Macnab
28th March 2009, 07:02
On Bank boats the suite of country courtesy flags was necessarily very extensive due to the fact that the ships went all over the world and to some very unusual places. The pigeonholes usually ran all the way around the wheelhouse and numbered in the scores. As new countries were invented with new national flags, keeping up with the changes was a full time job.

Talking about flag etiquette in port. In Calcutta where there were always several BI boats, we noticed that the senior ship raised the five minute pennant before colours were made at 07:00 or 08:00 and again at sunset. This was the cue for all BI boats to make or strike colours in unison. Very impressive.

With a clutch of Bank boats at Esplanade Moorings and Prinseps Ghat, we tried to emulate the BI with a similar intra-company routine. All these activities were possible as long as we had apprentices and seacunnies but must have died away as time passed.

trotterdotpom
28th March 2009, 08:46
CBoots, Willkomm-Hoeft is a restaurant and, as far as I know, still there, doing what it does best with Teutonic efficiency. Potosi is a province of Bolivia so it's anthem would be that of Bolivia. According to Lonely Planet, Bolivia has 25 merchant ships, even though it is a landlocked country. Should one happen to stray from Lake Titicaca and find itself in the Elbe, I wouldn't mind betting they'd dig out a flag and a tape of the correct anthem.

Prost, John T.

Jim Harris
29th March 2009, 12:06
The sight of a billowing 'Red Duster' proudly flying in a distant port,
would send a tingle up my spine and raise the hair on the back of
my neck.... but obviously not for others.

And can I ask those who think that flags are BS?
Did you, or do you now stand up when you hear your National
anthem?

cboots
30th March 2009, 09:45
CBoots, Willkomm-Hoeft is a restaurant and, as far as I know, still there, doing what it does best with Teutonic efficiency. Potosi is a province of Bolivia so it's anthem would be that of Bolivia. According to Lonely Planet, Bolivia has 25 merchant ships, even though it is a landlocked country. Should one happen to stray from Lake Titicaca and find itself in the Elbe, I wouldn't mind betting they'd dig out a flag and a tape of the correct anthem.

Prost, John T.

May I take the liberty of suggesting Trotters old chap that one is taking all this slightly out of context. As you are obviously a person who likes to look things up in books my I suggest that you look up "humour" and possibly "joke" in your dictionary.
CBoots

trotterdotpom
30th March 2009, 11:17
Might I suggest the same to you, old CBoots.

John T.

K urgess
30th March 2009, 12:08
Let's not take this any further please, Gents. Last posters #49, #50 and #51.
The subject is how did you fly a flag. Not how did they fly a flag.
Thanks. (Thumb)

cboots
30th March 2009, 13:47
Okay, here is my story of flying, or more accurately, dipping a flag. As a pretty junior apprentice I was on the bridge during a Panama Canal transit one time back in the sixties, when we were following a very large US warship. This thing was bristling with guns, missiles and every other means of destruction that could be made to float, probably returning to her home base from a friendly visit to somewhere. But on with my tale; as she swung to enter the naval base just before the Panama City end of the canal I, eager young sprog, dashed down aft to dip our ensign and patiently awaited the expected response from the USS whatever. Not a flutter came from ole glory; I was more than a little peeved I don't mind admitting and returned to my post on the bridge red faced and muttering. The American pilot asked me what was the trouble and I explained what had happened, or not happened whatever perspective one takes. Well, much to my surprise he shared my indignation. He whipped his walkie talkie radio out of its holster on his hip and got straight onto the canal office and gave them a proper talking to, that popular American colloquialism, "sons of bitches" was used several times. Anyhow a short while later we got a call on the VHF from the executive officer, none other, of the war canoe, giving us a very humble appology, much to the delight of myself and my new found American pilot friend. Not being a naval person I am not sure what the executive officer is but I gather he is someone pretty important, I don't think he dhobis his own socks and kegs, especially by the evident glee that the pilot was displaying along with utterances like, "Shure showed dem damn sons of bitches!" To end the tale, the excuse that our humbled exec officer gave was that they had not had a crew member spare to do it. My cabin mate had one of those navy diary things that were very popular and we looked this boat up; her total crew was well over a thousand, it was 1250 or there abouts; our total as I recall was forty. So there you have it, another triumph for the British Merchant Navy and our mighty "red Duster."
CBoots

trucker
30th March 2009, 16:09
ee it,s enough to rust your englefield clips.(Thumb)

cboots
31st March 2009, 01:51
'Tis that lad.
CBoots

NZSCOTTY
31st March 2009, 09:55
Might I suggest the same to you, old CBoots.

John T.

Is trotterdotpom trying to give John T C Boot??

gas_chief
31st March 2009, 11:16
Once got into trouble at Juaymah because the AB hoisted the Saudi Arabian flag upside down. A boy did ____ hit the ceiling! Ship berthed 2 days late after paying a fine. After that got the cadets to stencil at the base of the foremast on every ship that I sailed on (Saudi Arabia = dagger down!)

Jim Harris
31st March 2009, 11:47
[QUOTE=Marconi Sahib;306637]Let's not take this any further please, Gents. Last posters #49, #50 and #51.


Did you really mean #48, #49 and #50, or am I spared?

If not, sorry!!

Regards,

Jim.

trotterdotpom
31st March 2009, 12:15
Is trotterdotpom trying to give John T C Boot??
I'm not doing anything - I think I'm on the naughty chair.

John T.

sidsal
31st March 2009, 21:41
When I was in an Esso T2 tanker -the OWYHEE - Panamanian flag, the master always looked at the signal book to make sure the flag was right way up as it had been hoisted upside down on one occasion as he got a rocket !

cboots
1st April 2009, 03:54
My worst recollection was an occasion in the early seventies loading from a sea island at the top of the Arabian Gulf off the Shatt al Arab, an area much disputed even to this day between Iraq and Iran. When we put the Iraq flag up the Iranian patrol boat would dash out and make us put the Iranian flag up; soon as we did, of course, out would come the Iraq patrol boat, and so it went on.
CBoots

Vital Sparks
2nd April 2009, 13:42
Was on a British vessel in a formed up convoy waiting to enter the Kiel Canal when an East German naval vessel steamed past to take up pole position. One by one the ensigns were dipped but when she neared us and the deck cadet moved towards the monkey island ladder the old man growled "stay where you are", "I'm not dipping my ensign to that commy b****rd". So we didn't.

Ian J. Huckin
4th April 2009, 19:38
Slick,

I'm and Englishman living in the US and I'm on contract in Alaska right now but I have a Red Duster flying. I laso have a British MN Sticker proudly displayed on my truck. Back on my hunting property in Wisconsin I have a Cross of St. George and the Stars and Stripes flying side by side...my wife is from Cleveland, Ohio (but I still speak to her!)

It gives me a great feeling of pride, very very important so I understand exactly where you are coming from.

Best wishes,

Ian

Naytikos
9th April 2009, 18:23
Arriving at Kharg Island a couple of days after the Khomeini revolution was not funny. We flew the imperial Iranian flag, which was obviously wrong, but as no-one knew what the new flag would look like, it seemed better than none at all. The pilots were no help as they were only too glad to make it to and from work without a detour to the revolutionary guard HQ. In the end we got away with it only because the all the different uniformed authorities had different ideas and we left before anyone came up with a definitive answer.

Old Janner
12th April 2009, 11:21
My early days in BP, we used to dip the ensign to other passing BP ships or to any RN / or other Navies ships that passed , more so in those days.
When Aden became the Southern Decocratic country of Yemen, we entered Aden flying a made up painted courtesey flag, until the agent was able to supply the new version, I remeber it did'nt fly very well it was like a stiff board!
Spence.

GoodRunAshore
17th April 2009, 22:37
Got this "account" passed onto me while at college in the early 80's. Original author unknown so I cannot give them credit. It reveals some of the pitfalls of flag use at sea...(Jester)

It is with regret and haste I write this letter to you, regret that such a small misunderstanding could lead to the following circumstances, and haste in order that you will get this report before you form your own pre-conceived opinions from reports in the world press, for I am sure they will overdramatise the affair.
We had just picked up the pilot, and the apprentice had returned from changing the “G” flag for the “H” and, it being his first trip, was having difficulty in rolling the “G” flag up. I therefore proceeded to how him how. Coming to the last part I told him to “let go.” The lad, although willing, is not too bright, necessitating my having to repeat the order in a sharper tone.
At this moment the Chief Officer appeared from the chart room, having been plotting the vessel's progress, and, thinking it was the anchors that were being referred to, repeated the “let go” to the third officer on the forecastle. The port anchor, having been cleared away but not walked out, was promptly let go. The effect of letting the anchor drop from the “pipe” while the vessel was proceeding at full harbour speed proved too much for the windlass brake, and the entire length of the port cable was pulled out “by the roots.” I fear that the damage to the chain locker may be extensive. The breaking effect of the port anchor naturally caused the vessel to sheer in that direction, right towards the swing bridge that spans a tributary to the river up which we were proceeding.
The swing bridge operator showed great presence of mind by opening the bridge for my vessel. Unfortunately he did not to think to stop the vehicular traffic, the result being that the bridge partly opened and deposited a Volkswagen, two cyclists and a cattle truck on the foredeck. My hips company are at present rounding up the contents of the latter, which from the noise I would say are pigs. In his efforts to top the progress of the vessel, the Third Officer dropped the starboard anchor, too late to be of practical use, for it fell on the swing bridge operators control cabin.
After the port anchor was let go and the vessel started to sheer, I gave a double ring Full Astern on the Engine Room Telegraph and personally rang the Engine Room to order maximum astern revolutions. I was informed that the sea temperature was 53 degrees and asked if there was a film tonight: my reply would not add constructively to this report.
Up to now I have confined my report to the forward end of the vessel. Down aft they were having their own problems. At the moment the port anchor was let go, the Second Officer was supervising the making fast of the after tug and was lowering the ships towing spring onto the tug.
The sudden braking effect on the port anchor caused the tug to “run in under” the stern of my vessel, just at the moment when the propeller was answering my double ring Full Astern. The prompt action of the Second Officer in securing the inboard end of the towing spring delayed the sinking of the tug by some minutes, thereby allowing the safe abandoning of that vessel.
It is strange, but at the very moment of letting go the port anchor there was a power cut ashore. The fact we were passing over a “cable area” at that time might suggest that we may have touched something on the river bed. It is perhaps lucky that the high-tension cables brought down by the foremast were not live, possibly being replaced by the underwater cable, buy owing to the shore blackout it is impossible to say where the pylon fell.
It never fails to amaze me, the actions and behaviour of foreigners during moments of minor crisis. The pilot, for instance, is at this moment huddled in the corner of my day cabin, alternately crooning to himself and crying after having consumed a bottle of gin in a time that is worthy of inclusion in the Guinness Book of Records. The tug captain, on the other hand, reacted violently and had to be forcibly constrained by the Steward, who has hi handcuffed in the hips hospital, where he is telling me to do impossible things with my ship and my person.
I enclose the name and addresses of the drivers and insurance companies of the vehicles on my foredeck, which the Third Officer collected after his somewhat hurried evacuation of the forecastle. These particulars will will enable you to claim for the damage that they did to the railings of the No 1 hold.
I am closing this preliminary report, for I am finding it difficult to concentrate with the sound of police sirens and their flashing lights.
It is sad to think that had the apprentice realised that there was no need to fly pilot flags at night, none of this would have happened.
For weekly Accountability Report I will assign the casualty numbers: T/750101 to T/750199 inclusive.

Yours Truly

Master

Bill Davies
17th April 2009, 22:57
Don't panic, I've seen this one quite recently somewhere!

Bill

K urgess
17th April 2009, 23:18
Been posted on site several times in various forum threads but always worth a repeat so that new members who haven't seen it can have a larf. [=P]

Tom Inglis
18th April 2009, 18:19
Blue Flu 1958.
Jack, courtesy, house, & ensign up all together at 0800.

All down together at local sunset (as calculated by the 4th Mate).

Glad to see that the Blue Funnel way of showing respect for our own flags as well as the Nations we visit is still appreciated by some. I too was a Blue Funnel Middy from 1957 to 61 and the respect for flags remains with me. I personally ensure that the appropriate flag is flying from our village church tower which I see from my window, and on Merchant Navy day [3rd Sept] I hoist the Red Ensign with pride.
I am sad to see that flag etiquette seems to have slipped, with many other disciplines which may have been a hassle but kept us proud.
I am apauld for instance to see a St Georges Flag with ENGLAND over printed accross the horizontal stripe. The Flag itself means just that ie ENGLAND!!
Bah Humbug!!
Tom

joebuckham
19th April 2009, 10:59
Been posted on site several times in various forum threads but always worth a repeat so that new members who haven't seen it can have a larf. [=P]

it's also getting another airing in sea breezes may 2009 edition

OOCy
8th May 2009, 21:45
As a first trip cadet in Europort, hoisted the Dutch flag the wrong way up - no one noticed for several hours until a visit from the port police!
Made sure I never got it wrong after that!(Cloud)

Naytikos
4th June 2009, 07:00
Just read post 65.....!
Actually, about ten minutes ago; it's taken that long for me to stop laughing.
Many thanks, you've made my week.

Peter Martin
5th June 2009, 11:32
On the 'Aureol' in the early 70's flag etiquette was paramount. I recall being up on the monkey island on arrival in Takoradi on one occasion and having to fly the the folowing.
House Flag, Courtesy Flag, Royal Mail Flag & 'H' Flag & 'Q' Flag & Signal Letters (GMGJ). When the first line was ashore 'P' had to be raised.
It was forbidden, and considered to be disrespectful, to 'Break out' the Courtesy Flag. The rest, however, could be neatly trussed up with the obligatory matchstick, hauled to the peak and then firmly tugged to open up.
At the same time the Red Ensign was lowered from the mainmast and raised at the stern.
All this was observed by Captain Duncan Campbell from the bridge wing.
Although we moaned about it at the time, it has to be said that done well it looked very smart!

John Gurton
7th June 2009, 13:59
There has been a common practice of late to fly the Union Flag instead of the Red Duster. As a pilot I do find this rather annoying and often take great delight in pointing out to the Master that A; it is the wrong flag and B; it is upside down, which is usually the case ! Flag suppliers nowadays tend not to leave a tail on the flags so the hapless asian crews have have no idea what is wrong. If I'm feeling helpful I suggest they write "top" on the broad white band !

JimC
7th June 2009, 15:07
This is a very curious thread. I'm sure a 'shrink' would have a ball with some of the comments herein.

We are discussing flag etiquette. What is the meaning of the word 'etiquette'?

I quote from the 'Kings English Dictionary' of 1900:

"etiquette: system of artificial rules and observances for behaviour in society; conventional decorum; ceremony."

and from a Collins Dictionary a hundred years later:

" etiquette: coventional code of conduct or behaviour."

Not really a great deal of difference in the definition I'm sure you'll agree.

So what's the problem with etiquette - flag or any other kind? Come to think of it; what's the problem with conventional conduct or behaviour?

What was the great 'sin' that was comitted by 'tipping' a flag to another vessel? was it a sign of weakness? - a flaw in the manly character?
Come to think of it - who here can define 'bullshit'? I don't mean an individual's comprehension of it or a single example. Perhaps the word is short-hand for denial of any form of orderlyness or 'conventional conduct or behaviour in society. May be even just plane bravado?

The sad, hard facts of life are that the world we live in today is suffering greviously from a defecit of 'bullshit' and 'conventional conduct and behaviour 'of the self-less considerate kind. Everyone want's to be the 'individual ant in the ant-hill' - 'king of the heap' if you like.

I'm absolutely sure that many of the old hands herein would like to have retained some of the old courtesy, good manners and considerate ways of dealing with each other. Unfortunately these attributes were held together with trivia such as Flag Etiquette and dare I say it - bullshit. You can't hold the 'bricks' together without the 'mortar' even if it is made-up with a certain portion of 'bull'. Perhaps that's why the world is in such a mess?

In Ozz they pride themselves in having a 'bullshitless' society.

The great 'Mates' syndrome of Australians is pure conventional behaviour in a way - Australian society would collapse without it. So what are the threads of 'bullshit' which hold it together?

JimC
7th June 2009, 15:44
John, you write:

"There has been a common practice of late to fly the Union Flag instead of the Red Duster."

You don't say where they fly this flag - is it at the yard arm or at the stern or on a gaff?

Ff it is a courtesy flag then I would say the Union Flag is proper since it is the UK national flag. The 'red duster' is an ensign - not a national flag.

Jim.

sidsal
7th June 2009, 15:52
After going to the Panamanian Embassy in London and getting a Panamanian Mate's ticket at a cost of £10 I then served in several Panama registered tankers belonging to Esso. We sometimes had a look at the book to make sure we hoisted the ensign up the right way !

Dickyboy
16th June 2009, 11:01
I remember as a deck boy and JOS being involved with various flag and ensign "Performances"
Running up the Blue Ensign on the Queen Mary, 28 knots and a strong headwind. Quite a struggle for a young lad on his own.
If I recall correctly the harbour ensign, flown at the stern, was a 9 yarder! Very heavy and cumbersome, especially when wet. It nearly touched the water.
Breaking out other flags from the yard arms, using a match stick to hold the rolled flags lanyards in place so that it didn't break out before it reached the correct position. Sometimes the flag broke out early, and a rollicking was earned. On one occasion I mistook an old nail for a matchstick, couldn't break the flag out and had to bring it down again, correct my error, then raise it and break it out properly. The Skipper was NOT a Happy Bunny :o
On a tanker, a day or so out of Capetown, heading North, I spotted a submarine heading south. I was lookout, and a bit bored, so suggested to the OOW that we dip to it. He said okay, so I nipped up onto the Monkey Island, ran up the red duster, looked at the sub in time to see all heads disappear from the conning tower, and a few seconds later re appear and an ensign run up. She was Dutch, and I'll bet she cursed us for putting her to so much trouble :o We duly dipped, then took the ensign down and stowed it away again. Ten minutes of a boring watch passed.
Dipping to s flotilla of NATO warships sailing out of some German port. I dipped to all of them, except for the last one. I got a bo**ocking for that, until I pointed out that the last one was under tow and not flying an ensign. Out of commission, and probably nothing to do with the flotilla, but going for repair or the breakers. I got a "Humph" but no apology for the bo**ocking :o
A mad panic, again on a tanker, when the Spanish courtesy flag couldn't be found, and the bos'n sewing one up from spare "Q" and "B" flags.

Lancastrian
16th June 2009, 21:02
John, you write:

"There has been a common practice of late to fly the Union Flag instead of the Red Duster."

You don't say where they fly this flag - is it at the yard arm or at the stern or on a gaff?

Ff it is a courtesy flag then I would say the Union Flag is proper since it is the UK national flag. The 'red duster' is an ensign - not a national flag.

Jim.

Wrong Jim C. The etiquette of of which you rightly speak, is that courtesy flags are the Mercantile Ensign of the host country if they have one, otherwise the national flag.

Dickyboy
29th June 2009, 08:37
How's this for an ensign then?
I often wonder if the ensign size has anything to do with someones Ego :o
Seen in the Solent a few years ago during Trafalgar 2000

China hand
29th June 2009, 22:02
Buenos Aires, TESTBANK. No names to protect the innocent (and not get sued). It had to be before 1963 but after 1961. A very popular pope died. After visit from authorities, gruff, large Norfolkees Master tells apprentice to half mast the ensign. Irate Ulster Mate asks apprentice what the ?/#**!!! he's doing, put the f****thing back up. Not dipping for any (you all know the type). Large Master tels apprentice to half mast the ensign. Irate Mate starts to threaten apprentice with various tortures. Large row ensues. Ensign gets half masted, Master's cabin door slams shut with Mate inside. Loud noises heard. Apprentice goes ashore that night to find that even the nice places on 25 de Mayo have shut down early 'cos thay all thought said pope was a nice guy. Rough life in thise days, eh? Thank Gawd I never caught religion.

John Campbell
29th June 2009, 22:53
When apprentice on the Southbank in 1952 we were in Buenos Aires when we were told that an apprentice on a British Ship (I forget the Company etc.)had stood on the Argentine Courtesy flag when taking it down at sunset.

This fact was noted by the Argentine Gangway watchman (remember him- the portly fellow dressed in grey who used to lounge at the gangway) There was a huge row and the luckless apprentice was carted off to jail and it took a lot of diplomatic arrangements to get him released.

Flags meant a lot to Peron and his meme-sahib.
JC

joebuckham
29th June 2009, 23:45
How's this for an ensign then?
I often wonder if the ensign size has anything to do with someones Ego :o
Seen in the Solent a few years ago during Trafalgar 2000

reminds me of a time, long long ago, in oz or maybe nz. we were working cargo when a japanese ship, who had just arrived, took down the ensign from the gaff and replaced it with the biggest ensign i had ever seen at the stern, it almost trailed in the dock.
the faces of the stevedores on our ship were pictures to behold as they compared the size of the japanese ensign to the postage stamp sized courtesy flag, there seemed to be a discernible rumble of disbelief spreading round the port as work came to an end.
the japanese replaced their ensign with one of a similar size to the courtesy flag, but this was not accepted, the wharfies wanted a courtesy flag of the same dimensions as the original japanese flag. after about three hours this flag was found and raised and work slowly returned to what passed as normal in those days.

China hand
30th June 2009, 19:41
Dunno really. Being retired from deepsea and spending the last ten years northsea and pilotage; fairly up to date myself with the industry and not at all impressed with the standard of people, proffessionally of course, that I have come across; I think; flag etiquete was no small thing. It gave a modicom of discipline in a pretty rough general outfit. It instilled a little bit of knowledge, some guys still put flags upside down, even when the change is abhorrant!! People may call it bullshit; but surely bullshit is better than ****? But then, of fact, one had sufficient manpower to even attempt forms of flag etiquette. With reduction of manning, hours of work, security requirements and so forth: who cares? Who was it that wrote: " Just a moth eaten rag on a worm eaten pole, doesn't seem likely to stir a mans' soul. 'Twas the deeds that were done 'neath that moth eaten rag; when the pole was a staff, and the rag was a flag"
I voted with my feet many years ago, but on the flag hoisting times we have her in Zeeland, I love it. Really wish that on my frequent visits to Vlissingen and Antwerp that massive companies like the Big Blue One and More Scrap Coming could throw in a few dollars more, employ a few twits and remember that , although they are industrial giants, ships deserve respect. Nuff said

Dickyboy
30th June 2009, 20:18
reminds me of a time, long long ago, in oz or maybe nz. we were working cargo when a japanese ship, who had just arrived, took down the ensign from the gaff and replaced it with the biggest ensign i had ever seen at the stern, it almost trailed in the dock.
the faces of the stevedores on our ship were pictures to behold as they compared the size of the japanese ensign to the postage stamp sized courtesy flag, there seemed to be a discernible rumble of disbelief spreading round the port as work came to an end.
the japanese replaced their ensign with one of a similar size to the courtesy flag, but this was not accepted, the wharfies wanted a courtesy flag of the same dimensions as the original japanese flag. after about three hours this flag was found and raised and work slowly returned to what passed as normal in those days.

Any excuse for a bit of industrial action would do in Oz & NZ a few decades ago wouldn't it. :o
I work on a ferry, and a couple of years ago, a French luxury yacht was tied up in Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth. It was flying a courtsey flag, the Union Flag, but they were flying it upside down. I shouted several times over a couple of hours and indicated the fact to them, but they didn't take any notice. Years ago, in a commercial port that would have caused a walk out. And about two weeks ago a French Navy Patrol Boat was in Pompey Naval Base for several days and THAT never did fly a courtesy flag. The little Tinkers!