What do the flags stand for?
The beach flags provide general warnings about overall surf conditions and do not specifically advise the public of the presence of rip currents. However, increasing awareness of natural conditions which pose a significant risk at the beach, such as rip currents, is a critical element to improve public safety. Florida's beach warning flag program uses flags in four colors accompanied by interpretive signs along the beach to explain the meaning of each color.
GREEN: LOW HAZARD - Calm Condition, Exercise Caution
YELLOW: MEDIUM HAZARD - Moderate Surf and/or Moderate Currents
RED: HIGH HAZARD - High Surf and/or Strong Currents
DOUBLE RED: Water closed to public
PURPLE: Marine Pests Present. Purple can also be used in context with other flags to indicate pest conditions.
Beach Flag History
In 2005, the State of Florida adopted and enacted into law the Beach Flag Warning System. This is the flag system you see across the Beaches of South Walton.
It is extremely important to monitor the beach flag warning system. Dangerous rip currents may exist in the water, but provide no visible indication from shore; i.e. large waves. This is especially true on our 26 miles of beach.
Flag colors are determined by the most dangerous surf or rip conditions within the county's beaches and the appropriate color flag or flags are flown at each beach access. Therefore, the conditions at the beach where you are visiting may appear less dangerous than the beach flags that are flying.
The South Walton Beach Safety Division is constantly monitoring the water conditions and weather forecast to provide the most accurate and timely water and surf information possible. Please remember to use caution at all times.
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