Hoist ’Em High

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

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 usps.org .Bill Doster