Last edited by Bosun Higgs; 22-11-10 at 08:51.
Merchant Shipping Act. In case you haven't time ...
- There is no obligation to fly an ensign unless entering or leaving a foreign port, entering or leaving a British port (if over 50 tones) or on request from a warship (Part 1, Section 1, Clause 5, Paragraph 2).
- It's a saltire.
- You can fly anything you like from the jackstaff, or indeed from anywhere else, as long as it's not a recognised ensign (Part 1, Section 1, Clause 4, Paragraph 1, Sub-paragraph (a)) and as long as you (also or instead) display an ensign as required.
- The saltire, like the scottish merchant flag, is not a recognised ensign.
- Caledonian Macbrayne ferries have been flying a triangular saltire at the jackstaff for as long as I can remember.
Wishing things away is not effective.
I'm all for diversity of ensigns myself. I have always flown scottish ensigns (well, scottish merchant flags, technically) because I am scottish, my boats are based in Scotland and while I am not particularly nationalist - and certainly not Nationalist - I identify as Scottish far more strongly than I do as British. I don't feel that my decision not to fly a UK ensign "betrays the United Kingdom" any more than my decision not to fly the EU or NATO flags betrays these organisations. If a fellow scot wishes to fly a UK ensign then that's absolutely, totally 100% fine with me. I shall do so myself when I take Jumblie abroad (the Isle of Man doesn't count).People might be proud to be part of Cornwall or Scotland or wherever, (I have lots of Welsh blood in me and so identify completely with the perceived arrogance of the 'English' and London centred UK), but to refuse to fly a Red Ensign seems a betrayal of our United Kingdom.
Must be a registered British ship (thus over 7m long)
Member of entitled organisation is aboard
Possession of relevant warrant (must also be aboard)
Relevant organisation's burgee should be at masthead (or most senior position available)
These rules are charming anachronisms that change from time to time & are a throwback to the fondly remembered days when Great Britain was a Maritime power to be reckoned with. I like that, which is why I choose to fulfill them all on Sea Rush. As already stated there is a fine of up to £5,000 plus confiscation of any illegally flown ensign or flag that can be enforced, but to my knowledge never has been. Maybe it should . . .