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A burgee is a distinguishing flag, regardless of its shape, of a recreational boating organization.
Yacht clubs and their members may fly their club's burgee while under way and at anchor, day or night, but not while racing. Sailing vessels may fly the burgee from the main masthead or from a lanyard under the starboard spreader on the mast. Power boats fly the burgee off a short staff on the bow.
The officers of a yacht club may fly various burgees appropriate to their rank: for example, the commodore may fly a swallow-tailed version of the club burgee (and the vice- and rear-commodores the same, but distinguished by the addition of one or two balls respectively at the canton). A past-commodore may also be given a distinctively-shaped flag.
Traditionally, the first time a member of one yacht club visits another, there is an exchange of burgees. Exchanged burgees are then often displayed on the club's premises, e.g., in the office or bar. On "Opening Day", sailors fly their burgees together.
1.HE Web Design. "International Burgee Registry." . 21 Sept. 1998. Halling Enterprises. 28 July.2009 <http://www.burgees.com/burgeeframe.htm>. 2.Bakker, Jarig. "History of Yacht Club-burgees (Germany)." WWW.crwflags.com. 11 Nov. 2006. Web. 28 July 2009. <http://email@example.com>.
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