Use of the SOTA flag

Here in South Africa anyone seen waving a red flag around on a mountain is deemed to be in trouble and Search and Rescue would probably be dispatched, unnecessarily, and with associated costs. Is it different in other countries?

It’s not a recognised distress signal here (though any energetic signalling is likely to attract the attention of a passing SAR helicopter). The size of the SOTA flag means it it unlikely to be misinterpreted for anything significant, though on some hills we do share our activity with the military EXCEPT when red flags are flying!

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In DL, a red flag is considered a political statement.



Last time I looked at mine, there was a significant patch of green on it…

Someone came up to me at the rally on Sunday to complain that the logo is not central on the flag. It’s undeniable. Of course, I referred him to the SOTA MT #notmyfault.

[Steve Jobs] You’re flying it wrong! [\Steve Jobs]



Could I respectfully suggest that said individual offers to help with the merchandising, paperwork and the design work - getting a little overloaded here!


There are people who think that SOTA is eccentric!


that’s why I made mine red/white/red … only joking of course:

73 Martin, OE5REO


It’s certainly an interesting observation, one of which I hadn’t previously considered. From a British perspective, like others have mentioned, I don’t see it being a problem in the mountains and hills here. It is a fairly small flag. If anything, I have observed a positive effect whilst flying the flag - people are often more inquisitive and likely come up and chat/ask questions.

@G3CWI I hadn’t particularly thought of the off centre logo being an mistake, I had assumed it was a deliberate part of the design.

73 de Carl

Out west I’m lucky to see anyone beyond a hiking partner in the middle of nowhere.

I did run my new SOTA flag up recently and realized it was upside down. Wasn’t sure if that meant “man down” or some act of defiance to SOTA. I hastily righted it!



The only time my SOTA flag has any real purpose is to attract people to the right table at Friedrichshafen for the SOTA dinner!


added a bit of colour to mine

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I had mine on my telescopic pole a few activations ago and a guy approached me like I was flying the flag of some hostile militant group trying to take over America or something. Let’s just say he was skeptical at least. After I explained what it was all about, he was better, and I no longer thought I was going to become some sort of redneck prisoner of war or something. :smiley: Beyond that experience, it generally attracts positive interest and fosters good discussion.

I have also noticed that I need to fly it pretty low on the telescopic pole when windy as it can contribute significantly to the wind load.

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That’s the main reason mine hardly ever gets flown. If it’s low enough down the mast not to cause trouble then it looks like it’s flying a half-mast…

It was a bit too windy for flag flying on Blake Fell this week so made do with this. :slightly_smiling_face:

“Goat approved use of the SOTA flag” …says Peanut Goat (wGOAT)


I don’t think anyone here would care about the flag, as our flag is mostly red as well :wink: Outside of Norway I of course use it together with a Norwegian flag.

Thats a good idea. Using the countries flag and the Sota flag together will never be seen as an emergency situation. A bit of a drag in the wind though.

Well, it doesn’t have to be on the top of the pole.

I have considered the use of the SOTA flag for emergency use though, having a telescopic pole with a flag is a very handy way to mark if you get injured in hard terrain.