The meaning of the beach flags

You will have seen them thousands of times. The Beaches have flags that change color depending on how dangerous it can be to take a bath. That is why you have to pay attention and know the meaning of each one of them, since there are people who without knowing what these flags were transmitting have got into the water and got a good scare

The lifeguards, who are responsible for ensuring the safety of the bathers, are the ones who must decide the flag they choose based on how the sea is.

Blue flag

This flag, instead of giving us information about how calm or troubled the water is, tells us about its quality. Blue Flag beaches are beaches that have received a certificate that is awarded annually based on criteria that not only assess the state of the water, but also value a series of services and facilities that make a beach more accessible, safe and complete. In Spain, in 2018, there are a total of 590 Blue Flag beaches according to the European Foundation for Environmental Education, which is in charge of delivering them.

Green flag

green flag
The green flag is the one we want to see whenever we go to the beach. It is the one that indicates that The sea is calm and it's a good day to take a dip. That yes, that there is a green flag does not mean that one can be unconcerned and leave children unattended, since there are always risks.

Yellow flag

It is the color that generates the most doubts. It is clear that it is not the best day of the year to bathe, but it is also unknown how dangerous it is. The yellow flag allows bathing, but it is a key warning of water contamination or strong waves. It also flies when there are jellyfish, but in that case a specific flag is also used to make it clear that the dreaded invertebrates walk near the shore. In these cases it is recommended to bathe touching the bottom and with the head always out of the water.

Red flag

The red flag prohibits bathing without exception. Pollution and bacteria can cause it to flap, but it can also be due to strong waves. Another, less common reason has to do with a plague of jellyfish, spider fish, or sharks. Whoever decides to get into the water ignoring the warnings, in addition to endangering their lives, is exposed to a sanction It ranges from 100 to 3,000 euros depending on the municipality in charge of managing the beach.

Black flag

When there is a black flag you do not even have the possibility to get into the water, since it is closed to bathers. It is an unusual situation that occurs when the water is polluted, when the sand has to be replaced or when the storm has caused great damage to the coast.

Other flags

To warn of the presence of jellyfish, the Red Cross usually places a white flag with a drawn jellyfish, although it is also possible to see that same purple flag.

Recommended article: The most dangerous beaches in the world

Safe Day at the Beach- Flag Warning (English) (September 2023)

  • Beaches
  • 1,230