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Chicago Yacht Club (U.S.)


Last modified: 2019-12-30 by rick wyatt
Keywords: chicago yacht club | united states yacht club | illinois |
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[Chicago Yacht Club] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 13 July 2016

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This is the flag of the Chicago Yacht Club.
David Prothero, 18 October 2010

The Chicago Yacht Club (CYC) was organized on 7 August 1875 by 37 founding members. The club was incorporated on 8 January 1882 under the laws of Illinois, " to encourage and promote the sport of yacht sailing and building". The first Chicago-Mackinac race (now Race to Mackinac, colloquially "Mac Race") was held in 1898; that year, club's membership dramatically increased, from six members and two yachts the previous year to 60 members and 16 yachts. The CYC was declared by the Yachting Magazine "one of the country's most distinguished yacht clubs". Club members Robert Halperin (1908-1985) and William Parks (1921-2008) won a bronze medal in the Star class at the 1960 Summer Olympics. - Club website

The burgee of the CYC is a triangular blue pennant with a white triangle, charged with a red star, placed along the hoist and extending as a sharp triangle to the burgee's point.
Photos: one, two and three.

The CYC adopted the burgee of the Lincoln Park Yacht Club, following the merger of the two clubs in 1920.

The original burgee of the CYC and the officer's signals are prescribed in Chapter IV, Section I of the club's By Laws, as follows:

  • The Club signal shall be a sharp pointed pennant of red with a blue stripe, occupying four-tenths of the hoist, and running diagonally across the pennant and bisecting the lower margin of same, with white letters, C. Y. C., in the center and in line with the blue stripe.
  • The Commodore signal shall be a rectangular pennant of blue ground, and a large white star in a diamond of twelve smaller stars.
  • The Vice-Commodore's signal shall be of the same shape, of red ground, and white star in diamond of twelve smaller stars.
  • The Rear-Commodore's signal shall be of the same shape; of white ground, and red star in diamond of twelve smaller stars.
  • The Acting Commodore's signal shall be of the same shape and color as the Commodore's, omitting stars.
  • The Fleet Captain's signal shall be a rectangular pennant with a large blue star on a white field.
Section 2 prescribes the use of the club's burgee as follows:
A member using a boat not enrolled in the squadron may carry the Club flag or signal only by permission of the Commodore, previously obtained. Every yacht owned in good faith to at least the amount of one-fourth thereof by some regular member shall be entitled to fly the Club signal.

Charter, Constitution, Membership Roll, Fleet, Yacht Routine, Signal Code, Etc. of the Chicago Yacht Club (1904)

Ivan Sache, 31 July 2016

Original Burgee

[Chicago Yacht Club flag] image by Rob Raeside, 1 July 2019

Original Burgee: Pennant circa 4:7 (print image). Red field charged with the white letters CYC on a blue bend from upper hoist corner.
Source: Lloyd’s Register of American Yachts. New York, 1903.
Peter Edwards, 30 June 2019

Org. 1875 (Same source)

By 1906, the description says: Organized, 1875 Incorporated 1882. The edition 1917 edition of Lloyd's is the last one where I've seen this burgee of the CYC.

The next Lloyd's where I've seen the CYC is 1927, and there it has a different burgee, which it still flies today, as shown at the top of this page. This was originally the burgee of the Lincoln Park Yacht Club. The usual merger pattern applies: One club lives on in its name, the other lives on in its burgee. Lloyd's of 1917 does indeed show that burgee for the Lincoln Park, and the description tells us: Organized, 1913. Incorporated, 1915.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 1 July 2019