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Power Squadron Flags (U.S.)


Last modified: 2019-08-04 by rick wyatt
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[U.S. Power Squadrons flag] image by Rick Wyatt, 4 March 1997

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The flag of the United States Power Squadrons is 13 VERTICAL stripes of BLUE and white, with a red canton displaying the 13 star/fouled anchor emblem seen in the yacht ensign.
Nick Artimovich, 23 January 1997

The U.S. Power Squadrons are local associations of private boaters for the promotion of safer boating through educational and awareness programs. The USPS is not an official body, although the squadrons do work in cooperation with the Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary to promote common objectives. Boats commanded by members of the USPS may fly the USPS ensign, normally at the starboard yardarm or spreader. Unlike the yacht ensign, the USPS ensign is not recognized even by custom as a substitute for the national ensign, although some people use it that way. The USPS ensign is a registered trademark of the U.S. Power Squadrons.
Joe McMillan, 23 August 2000

I have had an interesting exchange of information with the Assistant Chairman of the Flag and Etiquette Committee of the United States Power Squadrons regarding the use and history of the USPS Ensign. Below is part of that exchange.

The ensign of USPS was designed to be (in essence) the "reverse" of the United States yacht ensign which is the "Betsy Ross" flag with the fouled anchor inside the circle of 13 stars. Both the colors and the direction of the stripes are reversed. The count of everything remains the same as also of course the position of the canton.

It was designed by then Chief Commander Roger Upton (the first Chief Cdr). It was patented (a so called design patent) in 1914. Design patents last for only 14 years. However it is copyrighted (a so called common law copyright) as of the day it was created. Copyrights are not "granted"; they are the right of anyone, personal or corporate, to one's own intellectual property.

USPS began in 1914. Before that date it was a loose confederation of power squadrons groups within individual yacht clubs. In that period, the individual squadrons flew a distinguishing pennant in conjunction with their yacht club's burgee. It wasn't an ensign, but was a distinguishing item.

In U.S. waters it may be flown in lieu of the U.S. ensign in the several appropriate places. These are the flag (stern) staff, the peak of the aftermost gaff on a gaff rigged sailing vessel, or at the leech of the aftermost sail (current policy allows attachment to the backstay as an acceptable alternate.) In international waters, it is normally flown at the starboard spreader or similar location.

It is not to be used as substitute for the U.S. ensign on land. For that matter, we prefer it not to be so used on the water. We also do not like the double hoisting of the USPS ensign, or any other flag below the U.S. ensign. I recognize that it is done and by many otherwise responsible authorities; we just feel it is not proper.
Nathan Bliss and L.G. Ward, 30 October 1997

Chief Commander

[U.S. Power Squadrons Chief Commander flag] image located by Jason Saber, 5 January 2015

Vice Commander

[U.S. Power Squadrons Chief Commander flag] image located by Jason Saber, 5 January 2015

Rear Commander

[U.S. Power Squadrons Chief Commander flag] image located by Jason Saber, 5 January 2015

All USPS squadron burgees can be found on the USPS website - select a district, then click on the "Web Pages, Information & Burgee" link.
Dov Gutterman, 8 October 2002

USPS/ABC - New Logo

[USPS/ABC - New Logo] image located by Peter Edwards, 21 July 2019

"America’s Largest Nonprofit Boating Organization Begins Promotion Of Its New Brand."

"Raleigh, N.C. – United States Power Squadrons® – America’s Boating Club®, the country’s largest nonprofit boating organization, announced today [14 December 2017] the launch of its new logo. This is the first of several planned updates in the organization’s new brand image and identity. Changes to the organization’s website, social media platforms and collateral are expected in the coming weeks."

“We are United States Power Squadrons but we are also America’s Boating Club,” said Louie Ojeda, chief commander, United States Power Squadrons. “This is not just a name change, it describes what we do. We go boating and have fun doing it. Over time our squadrons have evolved to become social clubs as well as providers of high quality boating education – allowing members to enjoy the sport and camaraderie of boating and any number of activities that keep us together. Togetherness is what this lifestyle is all about. We joined the organization for the boating education, but we stayed for the friends.”

"Offering classes For Boaters, By BoatersSM in seamanship, navigation and related subjects, United States Power Squadrons – America’s Boating Club serves as a virtual “yacht club” with boating and social activities for all types of recreational boaters. With over 27,000 members organized into 356 squadrons across the country, America’s Boating Club is comprised of families who contribute to their communities by promoting safe boating through education."

"In February of 2017, the United States Power Squadrons announced its America’s Boating Club co-brand to its squadrons, following an almost year-long re-naming exercise."

Source: accessed 11 July 2019,
Peter Edwards, 21 July 2019