What Is a Divers-Down Flag?

A diver down flag, also called a scuba flag, is a flag displayed on the surface of the water showing there is a diver below. This is a safety measure to indicate to boats they should steer clear for the safety of the diver and of the dive boat. In the U.S., this is a blue, red and white flag.

According to Chapter 27 of the 2003 Florida Statutes, all divers must prominently display a divers-down flag in the area in which the diving occurs, other than when diving in an area customarily used for swimming only. The divers-down flag means that one must meet the specifications mentioned in the Chapter 27 of the 2003 Florida Statutes. Thus:

  • the flag has to be square or rectangular;
  • if it is rectangular, the length must exceed the height;
  • the flag must have a wire or other stiffener to hold it completely unfurled;
  • the flag must be red with a white diagonal stripe;
  • the minimum size for divers-down flags on a buoy or float towed by the diver is 12 by 12 inches;
  • the minimum size for divers-down flags on a vessel or structure is 20 by 24 inches;
  • flags displayed on a vessel must be on the highest point of the vessel and must not be obstructed in any direction.

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