Picnic at Lighthouse Point Park
The Turtles at Port Orange City Center

Florida Beach Warning Flags

Do you know about the Florida beach warning flags? Many people do not realize that the colored flags at the beach are actually letting you know about the safety and conditions of the beach at that time. It is important to know these flags, which are not only all over the Daytona Beach area, but are used throughout Florida.

If you access the beach where these flags are not posted, it may be difficult to know what the conditions are. In this event, you may want to ask the lifeguard or beach patrol what the flag is that day. If you are entering the beach by vehicle, the checkpoints have the flag displayed, along with a sign explaining what each means.

Here's the breakdown of the flags and what you need to know:

- Double red flags mean that the beach is closed to the public.

- A single red flag indicates there is a high hazard and that there is a high surf and/or strong currents.

- A yellow flag mean there is a medium hazard and the currents and surf are considered medium.

- The green flag indicates there is a low hazard and conditions are calm.

- A purple flag means there is dangerous marine life (e.g., jellyfish, sharks, etc.).

If there is a purple flag, up ask the attendant what the dangerous marine life is, so you know what to look for. If there is a shark bite down in Ponce Inlet, all of Volusia County will still need to have the purple flag displayed. And if the flag is due to Portuguese Man of War (dangerous jellyfish), you will want to know about it so you can keep the kids safe. If you do happen to get stung by a jellyfish, go to the nearest lifeguard for assistance.

Although the beach is a beautiful place, it can also be quite dangerous. Always swim in site of a lifeguard and never let small children get too far out of reach. A safe day at the beach is always a good day!

You can find more information on beach warning flags in Volusia County here and here.

Lighthouse park picnic 021

Man of War
(Man of War)

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I was at Ormond By The Sea today and saw a red flag with some sort of black symbol on it. It sort of looked like a turtle. It was an oval with four line segments extending from it. It also said "On Duty" at the bottom. Is that a regular red flag warning or something else? I have searched everywhere and have yet to find out (and it is driving me crazy :) )


Keri, I do believe you are refering to the one that is near the lifeguard station and shows they are on duty.

When it is time to leave their post they will wave that flag to let the public know they are going off duty.

Thanks for your question!


i was at the beach last weekend and there was a red flag over a black flag on the lifeguard tower. solid red over solid black, 2 small flags.

what does that mean??

p.s. it was near Melbourne Beach



I'm not sure, it's one that I have not seen. Here's a link to the listing of official beach warning flags. Perhaps the water was actually closed to the public. It's been very rough with the hurricanes being offshore.


You should not hesitate to ask Beach Patrol or a lifeguard what the signs are. They are always happy to answer such questions and probably happy that people are interested.


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