Is it just so simple that boats show off flags better than other modes of transportation do?  Maltese Falcon proudly displays the Maltese flag, whereas

Stena Stealth has probably never docked in the Marshall Islands, a popular flag of convenience, and flags of

silliness mark the escutcheons of others, like this one on Stampede.

Some flags you see in the sixth boro might surprise you, whereas

others make total sense.

But tugboats here almost always show the flag, not just on holidays like the Fourth of July.  Backlit fotos bring this fact out well, like Kristy Ann Reinauer,

Thomas D. Witte and Cheyenne,

Kimberly Turecamo,

and Irish Sea. 

Yesterday Glen Cove had them on the push knees.

Anacostia had a string of flags.

First Coast might have taken out some slack in the line.

And Kilimanjaro Spirit had these–red = dangerous cargo and yellow = my crew is healthy?

And then there are festivity flags like these on  boats racing in the 2007 race in New York.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who keeps the flag of Dominica beside the bird cage.  Wonder why?  Click here.

One July 4 tradition is fancy food;  many thanks to Bonnie aka frogma for organizing an evening of fine dining and fabulous company . . . Spamfest 2011, with an introduction for me to  . . . spam musubi!!  Be assured this dish will not harm or clutter your computer.