Flag display in foreign ports

Discussion in 'US Flag Display' started by Don Norris, Jun 15, 2008.

  1. Don Norris

    Don Norris New Member

    Yesterday I was informed by a person who is retired from the US Navy that a US ship is required to fly the US flag lower than the foreign countrys flag while in a foreign port. This is not my understanding but he declared that this was followed in every port that he ever visited.
    Help me with this if you can.

    Don Norris
     
  2. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    Greetings, Don, and welcome to the forum! Sorry that no one responded to your post earlier.

    I was informed by a person who is retired from the US Navy that a US ship is required to fly the US flag lower than the foreign countrys flag while in a foreign port.

    Your friend is *sort of* right. On a ship, the place of honor is at the stern, and that is where the US flag is normally flown on a US ship when the ship is in port. When visiting a foreign port, it's customary to fly the host nation's flag as a "courtesy flag" from the one of the masts (the exact location depends of the configuration of the vessel). Thus, the courtesy flag is usually higher than the US flag. This is not in any way a sign of subordination, however.

    This is totally different from the scenario that applies in wartime, when a nation captures an enemy ship. In that case, the defeated ship's ensign is flown directly under the victor's ensign on the same halyard. This *is* symbol of subordination -- it's saying "hey, look, we captured your ship!"

    I hope that this clarifies things. Again, welcome!

    Peter Ansoff
     

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