Can You Put a Flag on a Jet Ski?

Jet skiing is a thrilling experience, and many skiers add some accessories to personalize their watercraft. Now, have you been wondering whether you can mount a flag on your jet ski? Well, you might have to enquire about your state’s boating laws first.


You can put a flag on a jet ski. However, while some boaters mount flags on their jet skis for fun, some states (e.g., Illinois and California) require you to only put up flags on particular occasions, e.g., if your jet ski is in distress or if you’re towing a skier.


Mounting a flag on a jet ski is not a complicated procedure. In this article, I’ll discuss a few ways of mounting a flag on your watercraft. Therefore, if you’re a jet ski enthusiast and planning to put a flag to display your patriotism to your country, team, or school, read on to learn how to do it stress-free.

How Do You Install a Flag Holder on a Jet Ski?

Mounting a flag on a jet ski seems like a complicated process, right? It can be a nerve-wracking procedure if you’re just a beginner with no skills or knowledge on how to go about it. However, would you rather hold the flag in your hand as you ride your PWC?


Well, that’s not the best option.


Installing a flag holder on a jet ski first requires you to have the right tools. Some of these essentials include the flag holder, bolts and nuts, and a tightening tool. Secure the flag holder on the watercraft before inserting and fastening your flag’s pole.

Laws Related to Mounting Flags on Jet Skis

Now, let’s have a look at laws related to flag-mounting on jet skis.


Many jet ski riders may not be aware of laws regarding the mounting of flags on watercraft. In 1977, the United States passed the International Navigation Act providing directives on the signal signs boaters can use. Therefore, the law allows the utilization of flags, lights, flares, and sounds to warn of impending danger.


Some states, including Illinois, California, Florida, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, have enacted laws requiring boaters to mount orange flags when towing a skier.


In Illinois, for instance, if pulling another person from your vessel (boat, jet ski, or tube), you should install a 12 by 12 inches (30.48 by 30.48 cm) orange flag that is visible from all directions. Hence, the flag should remain hoisted for as long as the skier is in the water.

Where Do You Mount a Flag on a Jet Ski?

You may be wondering about the best position to install a flag on your jet ski, right?


You can mount your flag on any part of your watercraft. However, it’s crucial to ensure that the position you’ve chosen allows people to see it from any distance. Thus, the best place to mount your flag is on the tower or helm of your watercraft.


When mounted on the tower or helm, the flag will be visible to other boaters and security officers if you use it as a warning or call-for-help sign.


Some boaters, however, install their flags at the back of their vessels. So, they simply fit it in the roaster tail after disconnecting the water spout. Then, they push it into the hole without having to drill any part of the watercraft. Therefore, they can mount about a 2-feet (0.61-meter) high flag from that position.

Ways of Mounting a Flag to a Jet Ski

You can use several methods to install a flag on your jet ski. Using a flag holder is the most common one. However, depending on your preferences and availability of tools, you can choose the method that works best for you.


Let’s have a look at different methods of installing a flag on a jet ski:

Flag Holder Method

In this approach, you’ll need to buy a flag holder, some bolts (with washers), nuts, and a ratchet that’s 12mm (0.47in).


Here’s the procedure:


  1. Remove the tow hook (below the wheel) by removing the nuts on the backside using a ratchet.
  2. After removing the hook, you’ll have two holes providing an ideal position to attach your flag holder without having to drill your jet ski.
  3. Get your flag holder and fix the nut you’d removed from the tow hook as your mounting nut.
  4. Connect the bracket and bolts (with washers) to the base of your flag holder and fix it on the two holes beneath your vessel’s wheel.
  5. Fix the back bracket behind the wheels and tighten the nuts to secure the flag holder in place.
  6. Place your flag pole in the holder and tighten the mounting pin on the side. You can also drill a hole through the pole and use a bolt and nut to keep it in place.


Watch this video for more details:

Suction Cup Method

Though it’s not common, the suction cup method is also an effective way of installing a flag on the jet ski. It is also simple and doesn’t require a plethora of tools. You only need a flag attached to a pole, a suction cup, and a tool to secure the pole on your watercraft.


The suction cup method is common for boaters using larger vessels as you only have to fix the pole (having the suction cup) to the handle of a spotter’s swivel chair.


However, since you can’t have a chair on a jet ski, you’ll either have to use a flag pole socket or another type of holder to hold the pole firmly. Moreover, you can also use the tow hook’s holes or drill some on your watercraft to attach the holder to the jet ski.

Fishing Pole Method

If the other two approaches don’t work for you, you can use the fishing pole method. However, this is rarely applied on jet skis as it’s more applicable on larger vessels, such as boats. In this method, you use a fishing pole in place of a flag pole.


So, to mount your flag using this approach, you only have to do the following:


  1. Remove your flag from its pole.
  2. Replace the flag pole with a fishing pole.
  3. Fix the fishing pole on its holder on the jet ski and ensure that the flag is tightly secured.

Can You Have More Than One Flag on Your Jet Ski?

Most state laws do not allow you to have more than one flag on your jet ski. However, some jet ski riders mount up to four flags on their vessels, maybe for recreational purposes. However, this is not advisable.


According to the state of Illinois, for example, if your vessel is towing people (divers or water ski riders), you should hoist only one orange flag (skier-towing flag) from your vessel’s helm.


You can mount a flag on a jet ski for various reasons. However, most states recognize ski flags as distress signals. As we’ve highlighted in this article, installing such a flag is not so complicated.

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