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Yacht Club Burgees and Flags (Spain)

Last modified: 2005-11-26 by santiago dotor
Keywords: spain | burgee | yacht club | club náutico | real club náutico | club marítimo | federación española de vela | federació catalana de vela | crown: royal | anchor (blue) |
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I believe there is one (or more) [R]CN (they are not always "Real" ie. Royal) in each seaside province.

Santiago Dotor, 16 July 1999

In many burgees there is the Spanish royal crown. Only clubs which are given the title of Royal (Real in Spanish) can use it on their coat-of-arms, and some of them also use it on their flag.

José Carlos Alegría, 17 August 1999

António Martins wrote, "Do you mean this triangle shaped yacht club pennants are always (or typically) in 3:5 ratio?". Actually, in naval flags, shapes are very important, because still in our days, flags are used constantly in boats. Therefore, when we see a recreational boat, specially sailboats, with several flags in different parts of the boat, it is very handy to notice the shapes, as this helps a lot. In the case of the owner's club flag, it is usually triangular or swallow-tailed to distinguish it from others (national ensigns, courtesy ensigns and signal flags ). They used to fly on top of the tallest mast of the sailboats and at the bow mast of motorboats. In our days, as the top of the mast is used for electronic gear in sailboats, the owner's club's flag flies on a lanyard under the starboard spreader on the mast. Being the spreaders of the mast where courtesy flags and some signal flags also fly, it helps if the Club's flag is a triangular burgee.

For example, you sail into Cyprus with your British sailboat. At the first port you arrive, you have to fly the courtesy flag (Cyprus national flag), the signal flag for being the first harbour of that country you touch (letter "Q", a yellow squared flag), and your club's burgee. As most sailors just have one or two lanyards to the spreader, all these flags are just about all together. If your club's burgee has a lot of yellow on it (Rutland Sailing Club, U.K.)... But then, the courtesy flag will be rectangular, the signal flag squared, and the owner's club triangular.

As for proportions, unfortunately, not so much importance is given, but 3:5 is the most used, followed by 1:2, but it is extremely difficult to say which club uses what, as the same club sometimes flies different proportions at their own clubhouse! Sometimes the flagmaker takes that decision alone. This is something I like to define with club officials when I can, but most of them do not know and/or do not care. In some other clubs, where proportions are well defined (Costa Smeralda, Italy, or Monte Real, Spain), they use 3:5.

José Carlos Alegría, 23 August 1999

There are almost no books about yacht burgees, except for the Lloyd's Register of Ships and very few others.

José Carlos Alegría, 15 November 1999

Spanish Sailing Federation Ensign 1945-1988

Federación Española de Vela

[Spanish Sailing Federation Ensign 1977-1988 (Spain)] 2:3 | stripes 1+2+1 |
by Željko Heimer
Flag used ca.1977-1988

The flag of the Spanish Sailing Federation (Federación Española de Vela) is identical to the yacht flag, but carries a small blue anchor on the top hoist. This blue anchor is positioned within the upper red stripe diagonally (from upper hoist to lower fly). (...) Most publications show this blue anchor in black, which is not correct.

Emil Dreyer, 25 June 2000

This flag was dropped away in 1988, and is no longer in use. It used to be the flag of the Spanish Sailing Federation, and all yacht club members of the associated clubs were allowed to fly this special ensign. Currently only the special ensign for recreational boats is in use.

I am afraid I have no official texts either about the legal use of the flag, or about the abolishment of its use. I just know about it from the day to day sailing practice. The Federación Española de Vela came up with a new logo (to be seen at its website) in 1988, instead of the flag, and the latter became more and more difficult to find in sailing stores, etc. I guess it made no sense to have members of the Federation using the flag with the anchor and members of not affiliated clubs using the plain blue crown flag. Unfortunately, in Spain most people just follow the general use, rather than following legal texts. The only ones who strictly follow the rules are Navy Officers. It is curious to see Navy sailing boats —Hispania, Sirius, Aifos are the better known ones— flying the Spanish ensign (the same as the state and civil flag) at the stern, instead of the recreational boats ensign, even though they are racing boats.

José Carlos Alegría, 25-27 June 2000

Spanish Federation of Nautical Clubs Ensign 1875-1945

Federación Española de Clubs Náuticos

[Spanish Federation of Nautical Clubs 1875-1945 (Spain)]
by Jaume Ollé

The pre-war flag of the Spanish Federation of Nautical Clubs (Federación Española de Clubs Náuticos) was the bicolour with natural crown [like the pre-1945 yacht flag] and a blue [slant] anchor on the top red corner. Most publications show this blue anchor in black, which is not correct. This umbrella organization of Spanish yacht clubs changed its name after the war to Federación Española de Vela.

Emil Dreyer, 25 June 2000

Catalan Sailing Federation Flag

Federació(n) Catalana de Vela

[Catalan Sailing Federation (Spain)] 2:3
by Jaume Ollé

I saw the Catalan Sailing Federation flag hoisted in the port of Vandellos, next to the clean beach blue flag and the Vandellos Nautical Club flag.

Jaume Ollé, 2 July 2000