Re "Highflying Dispute: Ex-Military Officer Challenges Propriety of Hoisting Yacht Club Flag Above Nation's," Sept. 16.
Apparently, disrespect is in the eye of the beholder. R.F. "Mike" WySocki's learned that nothing ever flies above the U.S. flag. The white church pennant always flies above the colors during services. Modern naval usage flies the ensign on the same mast and below the ship's commission pennant.
A Time-Life book shows the schooner Dream, the first flagship of the Boston Boat Club, flying a pennant at the masthead and the national ensign from the gaff in 1834. Surely, protocol is based somewhere in long tradition.
I would point out an error, though. It is customary for ceremonial masts to be mounted facing the water. This would put the gaff on the wrong side of the mast at the Pacific Corinthian Yacht Club.
Ventura County Maritime Museum