Vessels sailing under the Greece Country Flag are required to have on board this flag as part of flag state requirements that derive from maritime regulations in the International Code of Signals and the International Safety Management (ISM) Code. These codes are published by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as an ongoing effort to reinforce maritime safety procedures and communications to the international maritime community. Fleet management companies and ship owners are responsible to ensure that each vessel in their respective fleets have the appropriate flag signage onboard to be in compliance. This flag is used to identify the flag state a vessel is sailing under and to communicate with other vessels under the provisions of the International Code of Signals.
The Greece Country Flag, adopted in 1978 is represented by a series of nine equal blue and white stripes. A blue square bearing a white cross decorates the canton, or the upper left corner. The stripes alternate horizontally down the flag, with blue on the top and also the bottom. The number of these represents the nine letters in the Greek word for freedom and also the nine syllables in the Greek saying, freedom or death. The colors represent peace and honesty (white) and vigilance with loyalty (blue). The cross represents the Greek religion, Eastern Orthodox Christianity. The Greece Country Flag has a width to length ratio of 2:3. Proper etiquette dictates an order of flags including the National Flag of Greece, State Flag of Greece, Military Flag of Greece and then any other Flag of Greece, respectively. The Greece Country Flag should be replaced and not displayed if it is tattered or torn. If it is damaged so as not to be displayed, it should be destroyed. It should be flown upside down in order to denote distress.