Monday, January 2, 2012

On being courteous

Steve and Lulu on s/v Siempre Sabado have found an interesting solution to the courtesy flag problem. What courtesy flag problem? Well, read on...
It's a requirement in Mexico, and probably every other country, for visiting vessels to fly the flag of the host country. This is called a "courtesy flag" and is a sign of respect. You fly your own country's flag as well but the courtesy flag should be higher and at least as large as your own ensign.

Now, it's not much of a sign of respect if the courtesy flag is all tattered and faded and that's something that doesn't take long in this climate. Constant exposure to the UV rays of the sun combined with flapping against shrouds in the wind, and flags get beat up pretty fast. We've already worn out two. And they're fairly expensive. A decent one can run you $15-$20 US or more, depending on size.

We think we've come up with a viable solution. You sort of need a sewing machine to make it work, though.

We were having lunch at The Shack one afternoon when we noticed a piece of fabric flying from the rafters. It was about 5' wide and maybe 6' long and sported 6 Mexican flag prints in that area. All you'd need to do to make flags would be to cut the fabric into flag-size pieces, hem it, add a couple grommets and you'd be good to go.

We managed eventually to find the right fabric store and bought enough fabric for 10 flags. Total cost: $5.00 USD.

Our old flag:

And that was after Lulu had repaired it once.

A couple hours of cutting, ironing, pinning, sewing, and grommeting and this is one of our 10 new flags:

They won't last a real long time, being fairly lightweight, but, at fifty cents each, we can live with that.
This may not be a viable solution in other places, but it sure looks like a great answer in Mexico!

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