What is the history of the LYC flagpole?

Q – What is the history of the LYC flagpole?

(Picture of flag pole)

Gaff-Rigged Flag Poles – as observed from the LYC parking lot

Speaking of traditions, have you ever noticed that LaSalle Yacht Club has a unique Flag Pole (this question is more for members who have recently joined)?

Our flag pole stands in a Memorial that was built by the club with funds from members who participated in purchasing engraved pavers.  The Niagara Riverview Square.  A place of tribute and heritage.

The objective is to create a place of reverence, quiet reflection and beauty.

This serine setting will invoke spiritualism and a sense of patriotism.

It will also serve as a focal point for ceremony and assembly.

This will be accomplished by enhancing the base of the flagpole through the construction of a walkway of engraved pavers that begin at the flagpole and spread outwards into the four points of the compass.

Express your dedication to our community and help LaSalle Yacht Club complete this project with your support.

There are plenty of paver positions still available (4″x4″ $125 & 8″x8″ $250)  We can only meet our goal with your help!

Niagara River Walk Brochure

The pole itself is a gaff rigged type flag pole.  From time to time LaSalle Yacht Club (and other yacht clubs) get inquires from people who think we are displaying the US Flag incorrectly.

The problem is that people are confusing the LYC gaff-rigged pole with the more traditional single flag staff.

While on a single pole, the American flag should be in the top spot, the place of honor on a gaff-rigged pole, with its seagoing origins, is different.

Because of the sails carried by ships of old, the flag of a nation couldn’t be seen clearly if placed at the top of the mast. Instead, it was placed at the gaff peak, which juts out from the pole.

According to longstanding maritime tradition, the gaff is the position of honor on a ship and thus is where the U.S. Flag should be flown.

Yachting organizations, following the tradition of the seas, erect land based, gaff-rigged flagpoles and fly the U.S. Flag at the gaff as well; feeling that the gaff is position of honor on the pole.

Flags are raised in the following sequence:

1 – US Ensign (Old Glory) – flown on The Gaff (positions of honor)

2 – Club burgee – should be flown at the masthead

3 – Jack – Courtesy flag flown from the Yardarm or Crosstree (horizontal, starboard)

4 – Commodore’s flag – flown from the Yardarm or Crosstree (horizontal, starboard)

When you visit foreign waters, your ship should display the civil flag of the country you are visiting whenever your National flag is displayed.

Your courtesy flag is not to be larger than the national flag.

Flag and Etiquette Committee & Flag FAQ

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