Fishing vessels quite frequently have the fishing signal permanently displayed, even when tied up to the pier, and a much more serious problem, dive vessels often display Flag-A permanently when they have no divers down. This is extremely dangerous as it will encourage others to ignore the signal flag completely.
Rule 26(e) of the ColRegs explicitly states that a vessel when not engaged in fishing shall not exhibit the lights or shapes prescribed for a vessel engaged in fishing.
Rule 27(e)(ii) provides for small vessels engaged in diving operations to exhibit a rigid replica of flag “A”. However, the Rule does not explicitly state that this must not be exhibited when the vessel is not engaged in diving operations. Nevertheless, it is not good practice to have this signal permanently displayed as it may lead to the signal being generally disregarded.