14 U.S. Code § 638 - Coast Guard ensigns and pennants

(a) Vessels and aircraft authorized by the Secretary shall be distinguished from other vessels and aircraft by an ensign, pennant, or other identifying insignia of such design as prescribed by the Secretary. Such ensign, pennant, or other identifying insignia shall be displayed in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary.
(b) No vessel or aircraft without authority shall carry, hoist, or display any ensign, pennant, or other identifying insignia prescribed for, or intended to resemble, any ensign, pennant, or other identifying insignia prescribed for Coast Guard vessels or aircraft. Every person violating this subsection shall be fined not more than $5,000, or imprisoned for not more than two years, or both.


(Aug. 4, 1949, ch. 393, 63 Stat. 546; Pub. L. 111–281, title II, § 213(b),Oct. 15, 2010, 124 Stat. 2915.)
Historical and Revision Notes

Based on title 14, U.S.C., 1946 ed., § 64 (R.S. 2764; Aug. 5, 1935, ch. 438, title III, § 308,49 Stat. 528).
Aircraft are included within the provisions of this section.
The Secretary rather than the President is given the authority to design ensigns and pennants.
Unauthorized display of such insignia is made illegal anywhere rather than only “within the jurisdiction of the United States”.
The language is broadened to include “any person violating this section”; existing law applies to masters of offending vessels only. 81st Congress, House Report No. 557.

2010—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 111–281substituted “Vessels and aircraft authorized by the Secretary” for “Coast Guard vessels and aircraft”.

The table below lists the classification updates, since Jan. 3, 2012, for this section. Updates to a broader range of sections may be found at the update page for containing chapter, title, etc.

The most recent Classification Table update that we have noticed was Tuesday, August 13, 2013

An empty table indicates that we see no relevant changes listed in the classification tables. If you suspect that our system may be missing something, please double-check with the Office of the Law Revision Counsel.

14 USCDescription of ChangeSession YearPublic LawStatutes at Large

This is a list of parts within the Code of Federal Regulations for which this US Code section provides rulemaking authority.

This list is taken from the Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules provided by GPO [Government Printing Office].

It is not guaranteed to be accurate or up-to-date, though we do refresh the database weekly. More limitations on accuracy are described at the GPO site.

33 CFR - Navigation and Navigable Waters



LII has no control over and does not endorse any external Internet site that contains links to or references LII.