Last updated: July 17, 2019

Private Signal

Also known as the HOUSE FLAG. Maritime flag; small custom-designed flag carrying symbols representing the owner. Dimensions are the same as those of the burgee. It is triangular-shaped; swallow-tailed (two-tailed) or penant-shaped (one tail). Dimensions: on the horizontal axis (length), 1/2 inch for each foot between the waterline and the top of the tallest mast; on the vertical axis (height or width), two thirds of the length of the horizontal axis. When burgee and private flag are flown simultaneously, the burgee takes pride of place. On a two-masted boat, the private flag is flown from the top of the aftermost mast; on a single-masted boat, it is either worn on the portside flag halyard, or on the starboard flag halyard, under the burgee, or on a staff forward.

Usage: it may only be flown when the owner is present; like the burgee, the private flag follows the owner, not the boat.

Illustration: The Boater’s private signal