These protocols govern the use of flags at the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club. The club recommends members to be familiar with the guidelines set down by the Royal Yachting Association
The Club flag is the New Zealand Blue Ensign, as approved by H. M. Queen Elizabeth II in February 2001.
Any vessel flying the New Zealand Blue Ensign or the New Zealand Red Ensign shall adhere to the guidelines issued by the Royal Yachting Association and the Flags, Emblems, and Names Protection Act 1981 (New Zealand). These rules will take precedence wherever they are in contradiction with these rules.
The club Burgee is white cross with blue anchor at intersection. Upper inner canton black with crown, lower inner canton red, outer cantons blue.
The burgee shall be flown at the mast tuck, or at the spreader of the mainmast. If no mast is present, it may be flown from a staff at the stem, or wheelhouse of a club vessel.
Commodore The Commodore’s flag shall be a swallowtail of a similar device to the burgee
Vice Commodore The Vice Commodore’s flag shall be similar to the Commodore’s with one white ball in the lower inner canton
Rear Commodore The Rear Commodore’s flag shall be similar to the Commodore’s with two white balls vertically in the lower inner canton
Secretary The Secretary’s flag shall be similar to the Commodore’s but with one white five pointed star in the lower inner canton. (not in current use)
Port Captain The Port Captain’s flag shall be similar to the Commodore’s but with two white five pointed stars vertically in the lower inner canton.
At the end of their term, the retiring flag officer must hand in their flag to be stored and presented to their successor.
House flags may be flown from any position on a boat, except:
When an ensign or the club burgee is also flown, these must have the prominent positions as per RYA guidelines.
No member shall fly the Club flags from any yacht not on the club register; this rule does not apply in the case of the flag officers being on board.
Breaking the burgee
The burgee will be broken by the guest of honour on opening day and should be flown from the top of the mast until struck at the end of the season. If there is no guest of honour, the office will be carried out by the Commodore or a person of the Commodore’s choosing.
Burgee to be struck
The burgee will be struck at the end of the season by the guest of honour following the sailing events.
If there is no guest of honour, the office will be carried out by the Commodore or a person of the Commodore’s choosing.
The burgee will be stored and awarded to the boat of the year at the season prizegiving.
In the event no boat of the year award prize awarded, the burgee will be disposed of (see below).
Flying the Burgee at Pt Jerningham
The burgee will be flown at Pt Jerningham always when the Pt Jerningham start box is in use to control a race which RPNYC is running or is a partner in a sailing event such as a combined club regatta.
Death of the Sovereign
The burgee is to be flown at half mast, from the announcement of the death up to and including the day of the funeral.
The burgee is to be flown from the top of the mast on Proclamation Day (being the day when the new Sovereign is announced officially).
Death of the Governor-General or a former Governor-General or the Prime Minister or a former Prime Minister.
The burgee is to be flown at half-mast on the day of the announcement of death and the day of the funeral.
Other cases, including the death of a member
In the case of the death of:
- any member of the Sovereign’s immediate family. That is, the Sovereign’s current consort and any of the current Sovereign’s children.
- current RPNYC members
- others with the approval of the Commodore.
The burgee is to be flown at half mast, on the day of the funeral only.
Others to be considered might include:
- former RPNYC members of long standing
- prominent members of other clubs
- others who are honoured with the New Zealand flag being flown at half mast.
In accordance with Government directions
The burgee will be flown at half mast if the Government directs that flags be flown at half mast over Government buildings and naval vessels, or if the Government directs that flags be generally flown at half mast.
To fly the burgee at half-mast
If not already being flown at full mast:
The burgee is half-masted by raising it to the top of the mast, then slowly lowering it to a position more than its own depth from the top of the mast to avoid the appearance of the burgee having accidentally fallen from the top of the mast. The burgee should be raised again to the peak before lowering it for the day.
If already being flown at full mast.
The burgee is half-masted by slowly lowering it to a position more than its own depth from the top of the mast to avoid the appearance of the burgee having accidentally fallen from the top of the mast. The burgee should be raised again to the peak before the end of the day.
Disposal of the burgee
A burgee should be disposed of by burning, tearing or cutting so that it no longer resembles the burgee. A damaged burgee should not be disposed of intact.
Presentation pennants will be awarded to qualifying members and crews at the annual prizegiving. These are:
Season Divisional winners
A pennant will be presented to the best performing vessel from each division through the year (line honours only) at annual prizegiving. The pennant will take the form of a club burgee bearing the name of the winning vessel, the division in which it raced, and the season it was won. See design.
Owner of the Boat of the year
At the Annual prizegiving the owner/s of the boat of the year will be presented with the burgee which flew from the clubhouse mast during the season.
Hon. Life members
The pennant will be a standard club burgee with an upper-case Letter L embroidered in gold in the lower inner canton. See design.
Long-standing senior members
The pennant will be a standard club burgee, with the number of consecutive years attained embroidered in gold in the lower inner canton. See design.
At the annual prizegiving this pennant will be awarded to any member who during the season attained 10 consecutive years of senior membership (or ten consecutive years if the member went direct from junior to senior membership in that time), and each consecutive decade of senior membership thereafter.
Departing flag officers
Ex-flag officers may fly a swallowtail Club burgee relevant to the office held, with years served in that office embroidered on the horizontal of the cross. It may be flown on any vessel when the owner of the flag is on board.