I’d expect more from those at sea…

Vexillogical stupidities once more

Once again I’ve come across some stupidities regarding flag etiquette. In my experience, those who are sailors are usually among the best concerning flag use. But with the Tall Ships Maritime Festival on in Belfast at the moment, this has proved not to be the case.

Wrong courtesy flag

It is usual for vessels when in a foreign port to fly a ‘courtesy ensign‘ — that is the ensign of the port in which they are. In the United Kingdom that ensign should be the Red Ensign. Unfortunately some of the Tall Ships’ captains appear to be ignorant of this fact and are flying the Union Jack.

The Union Jack is limited at sea to ships of the Royal Navy, or ships which Her Majesty the Queen is onboard. Perhaps some Naval officer will either tell the offending captains, or perhaps he’ll actually prosecute them.

Green Ensign?

One other suggestion would be the Green Ensign that would be more Irish. But perhaps it never existed officially…

Perhaps we should start having these flown in Northern Irish waters?

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