When an initial learning come navigate the waters of the cruising world, there have the right to be a near-overwhelming quantity of info to absorb. Follow me the way, girlfriend may find yourself wondering: what precisely is indicated when a flag is flown upside-down?

Most realise at an early stage that a misstep in the formalities of flag etiquette deserve to represent a major faux pas, with possibly serious consequences. In the instance of flipping a flag the wrong means up, that is ideal to be mindful not only that this gesture has certain meaning, yet that doing that unintentionally is no an error to make lightly! Here, us will check out the history and meaning behind the upside-down flag.

You are watching: Flying the us flag upside down


A signal the distress

For numerous years, inverted flags have actually been harnessed as a signal that distress. Hoisting the ensign upside-down was also a potentially covert means in which sailors might share that their ship had actually been take away by hostile forces and also was being manoeuvred nefariously. The United says Flag password expresses the idea concisely, stating that a flag have to never it is in flown upside-down, “except as a signal that dire distress in instances of too much danger come life or property.”

Prior come the act of Union in 1907, when Scotland became part of great Britain, the brother flag showed up the exact same whether upright or inverted. Today, no everyone knows which orientation is correct because that the Union Flag. In fact, as soon as hoisted this flag should display the more comprehensive diagonal white stripe over the red diagonal stripe on the side that it is an installed – and to acquire this in a muddle is considered a gesture of great disrespect! please note, the Union flag is a soil flag. The red ensign need to be offered to denote your nationality in ~ sea.

Protest and also dissent

There is one other circumstance in which you could come throughout a flag flown upside-down intentionally, and also that is as a declare of protest. This gesture could be made as a screen of dissent against a standing federal government or not say of a country"s foreign policy. However, together a intended insult need to not be made flippantly. In some countries, displaying the regional flag upside-down without an excellent reason is thought about a finable offence, and may land the vessel"s owner in uncomfortably warm water. At any time in international waters, flying a courtesy flag appropriately is always the suitable course of action.

Meaning around the world

The significance of an turning back flag does vary approximately the world, v some counting it as a legitimate SOS signal, when others might not recognise this gesture"s intention. In part countries, such as Thailand or Japan, inverting the flag does not adjust its appearance in ~ all. In other cases, inverting a flag may simply transform it into an additional – together as in between the Polish and Indonesian flags, which are vertically mirror pictures of every other.

Other means to signal distress

Of course, we would all far prefer that if we never necessary to signal distress in ~ all as soon as out ~ above the open water. But, understanding your options when in an unanticipated tie is a far better prospect 보다 the alternative. There room many feasible options because that indicating your require for assistance, past flying a flag upside-down. In fact, no flags paris at all have the right to be taken together a sign of trouble, as have the right to a knot tied in a flag – i beg your pardon is known as a wheft. An orange flag featuring the silhouette that a square and circle is likewise widely recognised, as is any type of square shaped object accompanied by a sphere shaped object.

These days, we happily have a far greater array of resources at our fingertips, start of course v the marine radio and a Mayday alert. Distress flares come in a range of forms, consisting of handheld, coloured smoke emitting, and parachute or rocket flares. A contemporary alternative deserve to be discovered in digital Distress Signals, otherwise recognized as digital flares, which emit a shining LED-based light. General practitioners based emergency locators are an additional advantageous item of emergency kit – well-known either as EPIRBs, or PLBs, which stand for Emergency position Indicating Radio Beacon and personal Locator Beacon, respectively. This resources have the right to be invaluable if relying on help from Search and also Rescue in negative conditions, once finding her vessel may be the greatest obstacle to her aid.

Whatever substantial safety strategy you intend to adopt, Jimmy green Marine are at hand to provide each that the equipment facets you require. Discover our quality choice of flags, distress signals, and also location devices, and give you yourself the tranquility of mind the comes through being totally kitted out. Don"t forget to discover the safety tools section of ourKnowledge centre too.

See more: Fox Clip Art Black And White (27), Black And White Fox Clip Art

Finally, of course, if in doubt friend can constantly give the Jimmy environment-friendly team a shout. Us are ever ready come advise and also to aid you determine the best way to fulfill your needs.