Hoist ’Em High

Many flags have meanings that all yachtsmen should know. Others are great for a laugh.

November 10, 2015

Nautical flags and pennants are a language unto themselves. They can mean everything from “man ­overboard” and other serious messages to “coffee is brewing” as an invitation to friends in the harbor. Our ­favorites span the gamut from noteworthy to novelty.

Talk to the Palm

We like to think this novelty pennant means “on island time.” Bill Doster

Sailfish Flag

To be flown when you catch one, displayed above or below flags of your other catch, in order of species size. Bill Doster

The Floating Clubhouse

Ideal for announcing hors d’oeuvres after a day ashore on the links. Bill Doster

Custom Creation

Yacht names and logos can be personalized. Bill Doster

Martini Flag

For letting fellow boaters know cocktails are chilled. Bill Doster

Dolphin Flag

When this one is flying, it’s time to start the grill. Bill Doster

Flag of Sicily

The head of Medusa in the center is meant to protect the island. (Maybe don’t look directly at it.) Bill Doster

U.S. Power Squadrons

For their take on flag etiquette, visit . Bill Doster

More Gear