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Burgee Sizes

Here are some suggestions for you to consider when trying to determine the appropriate burgee size for your boat.  Much of this information is provided by the U.S. Power Squadron.  There is no one-size-fits-all policy for nautical flags. Flag size on boats is determined by the size of the boat - either overall vessel length, or the height above the waterline of the tallest mast. This practice is based on longstanding nautical tradition.

Powerboat Length
Burgee Size
 
Sailboat Mast Height
Burgee Size
up to 24'
10x15" burgee
up to 30' 10x15" burgee
25' to 28'
12x18" burgee
31' to 36' 12x18" burgee
29' to 33'
14x21" burgee
37' to 42' 14x21" burgee
34' to 38'
16x24" burgee
43' to 48' 16x24" burgee
39' to 43'
18x27" burgee
49' to 54' 18x27" flag
44' to 48'
20x30" burgee
55' to 60'
20x30" burgee
49' to 72'
24x36" burgee
61' to 65'
24x36" burgee

 A national ensign flown at the flagstaff should be one inch on the fly for each foot of overall length of the vessel. So a 30 foot vessel should fly a national ensign that has at least a 30 inch fly.

All other flags on power boats should be 5/8 inch on the fly for each foot of overall length. On sailboats, however, they should be 1/2 inch on the fly for each foot above the waterline of the tallest mast on the boat. (That is, if the top of the mast is 30 feet above the waterline, these other flags should be 15 inches on the fly.)

When purchasing a flag, the size of the flag is usually rounded up to the next larger commercially available size because more often than not the flags worn by a boat are too small.  While a large number of boaters operate a boat that requires a 12 x 18 inch burgee, that burgee would be way too small for a 50' boat. Since proper flag display is one measure of a good seaman, boaters should obtain and fly properly sized flags on their boat.