When most people travel to different countries via airplane, cruise ship or even a train you just get off the mode of transportation, clear customs at the port of entry and continue on your way. When you travel to a different county on a private vessel there are a couple different things you have to do.

First you must fly a Yellow “Q” Quarentine flag upon entering the county’s waters.


The “Q” flag indicates to the local custom officials that the ship is healthy and is requesting clearance into the county. This flag must be flown on the starboard spreader until all passengers on the vessel are officially cleared into the county.

Then, a courtesy flag is flown by the visiting ship while in the foreign waters as a token of respect to that country. The ship will fly this courtesy flag only once all passengers and crew members have been officially cleared into the county and will continue to fly it until it leaves the visiting country’s waters. So, before we leave we have to make sure we have all of the courtesy flags for all the countries we plan on visiting.


Our flags arrived in the mail today and I sorted them and made sure I knew what direction was up. I would not want to hang a fly upside down to offend any county while we are their guests.

BTW, The French Flag is missing from this picture because we already have this flag on Sail Pending since she was built in France.