Glenmar Sailing Association
Sailing the Chesapeake Bay

GSA Burgee

The distinguishing flag of GSA is composed of a black air foil surrounded by a thin yellow slip stream and laid onto a field of blue (as in sky).  The exact wording is “The burgee shall be triangular in shape and shall consist of a black airfoil section, such section to be outlined by a band of bright yellow, and the whole to appear on a blue-gray field.”  Presumably, this comes from about 1965.  Although the club was founded in 1947 by a group of employees at the Martin Company, it was not incorporated in Maryland until 1965.  Because the Martin Company was all about airplane flying, it is appropriate that the club burgee would be an airfoil.

Importantly, there was never an official artistic rendering of the burgee. Nor did anyone, nor any document state that the colors were to be given in PMS, CMYK, RGB, or HEX. Currently, I only have four versions available. One is the burgee which is manufactured and given to new members. The other three are artistic renderings. There have undoubtedly been others, but they are not available. Unfortunately, I do not have artist credits. We do not know who drew these? If you know of another image, or know the artist, leave a comment below.

Despite these ramblings, I do have a comment about the airfoil.  It seems to me that it is too symmetrical.  That is, if we built it, it wouldn’t fly.  The thing about an airfoil is that it must be asymmetrical so that air will flow around it going further in one direction than in the other.  Here is a sketch of some historical foils.  This came from   (Link only so that I do not use their copyrighted material.)  If you follow the link and look at these foils, you will see that none are symmetrical.

Should we consider a slight design change to reduce the symmetry? Our founders might not have approved of an airplane wing that wouldn’t fly, considering that they came from one of the greatest American flight manufacturers of all time.

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One comment on “GSA Burgee”

  • TodAOh says:

    While you are, of course, technically correct, there is a cost to making the correction. We would need to create a new burgee which would make the existing ones dated. Is it worth the cost? I don’t really think so. We can consider the current one a cartoonish artistic conception rather than a technically correct rendition. That change doesn’t come with a cost!