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Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission
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Flags & Symbols
What Do the Flags Mean?
At the beach parks, the lifeguard stands display various flags and signs to convey dangerous or threatening areas and give current information about the water environment. The displayed signs also offer information regarding currents and tides. Read it before getting in the ocean.
Red Over Yellow Flag Red Over Yellow Flag: Designated lifeguarded swimming area between flags.
Image of a Yellow Caution Flag: Use caution. Rough water or possible dangerous sea life. The ocean is never 100% safe, so always treat it with respect, watch your children, and swim with a buddy. Yellow Flag:  Use caution. Rough water or possible dangerous sea life. The ocean is never 100% safe, so always treat it with respect, watch your children, and swim with a buddy.
Surfboards and other non-powered watercraft are prohibited. Yellow Flag with Black Circle: Surfboards and other non-powered watercraft are prohibited.
Image of a Red Caution Flag: No swimming. The water is closed due to dangerous currents, severe storms or lighting. Possible dangerous sea life. Red Flag:  No swimming. The water is closed due to dangerous currents, severe storms or lighting. Possible dangerous sea life.
Image of a Purple Caution Flag: Sea Pests. There are a higher than normal number of possibly dangerous marine animals in the water, including jellyfish, stingray, man-of-war. This is not intended to be used to notify the presence of sharks. Purple Flag:  Sea Pests. There are a higher than normal number of possibly dangerous marine animals in the water, including jellyfish, stingray, man-of-war. This is not intended to be used to notify the presence of sharks.
 

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