Gilligan's Island


  1. At the 20 second mark, you will see the flag in the background seemingly at half-mast. You can find plenty of online references that say this was because of JFK’s assassination, that the sequence was photographed just after November 22, 1963. I want to know if this is TRUE!

  2. At the 28 to 30 second mark, the boat is seen in a violent storm. Was this clip ever used in another film or TV program? If so, what are they?

Thanks very much!


The flag is not at half-mast.

That flag looks full-mast to me. And the footage of the ship in the storm might have been re-used, though after the first season the opening credits were re-shot in colour.

Heck, “boat in dangerous storm” footage pops up in any number of movies and TV shows. No surprise if a lot of it looks alike.


Thanks, but that is not answering my question.

Plenty of online references attest to the fact that the flag is at half mast because of JFK’s assassination.

That includes Wiki and Imdb

Is this true?**

**Somebody else in Another Place remarked that it looks about 4/5 rather than half.

As I mentioned, plenty of online references attest to what I said, and I want to find out if it is true. Check Wiki and Imdb for starters.


Well, it might be true that wiki and imdb say the flag is at half-mast, but it looks full-mast to me.

**Not according to scores of references. Here are three:

Is the story true and factual?**

Well, he was president for less than 4/5ths of a term…

Anyway, please stop abusing the bold function.

On further review, the flag at 0:21 (when the Minnow’s starboard side faces the camera) looks full mast, but maybe there’s a half-masted flag at 0:22 after the cut and the Minnow’s stern faces the camera. The resolution isn’t good enough for me to tell.
In any case, let’s assume it’s true. So…? It’s a mildly interesting TV historical factoid.

Really, thanks for your reply, but let’s consider that the clip has been around for decades - as well as the story of the flag at half mast for the death of JFK.

Now I know the flag may look at full-mast, but that ignores scores of references that says it is at half-mast for JFK.

Surely somebody would have challenged the seemingly “official” stories, so what is going on?

Is this a myth, tall-tale, or is it true?**

The thing is, G.I first aired on Sept 26, 1964. Supposedly the last day of shooting was Nov 22, 1963, thus accounting for the flag.
Was it normal to have such a long gap between shooting and the first showing?

Here’s a screenshot. I marked the flag corners and the top of the pole with red dots. That does not look like half mast.

**No, but thanks for asking. My eyesight is not good, and the bold print helps me focus.

Please try to focus, too.**

Heh, well, I’m done taking this seriously.

Since I just watched the clip, and since the flag is clearly at full mast, this is obviously a myth/tall-tale. Bada-bing, bada-boom. Not that hard

It’s like you’re asking “There’s a legend that since the moon was made of green cheese and there are cites on teh intrawebs saying so, did Neil Armstrong really make a pizza with some moon cheese?”…the answer is “Since the moon’s not made of cheese, no. Neil Armstrong didn’t.” Since in the primary source (the clip) the flag is at full mast, any legends/fairy tales about reasons why it’s (allegedly) at half-mast become moot. Have you even looked at the clip?

The only Wikipedia cites for this are a book (Russell Johnson with Steve Cox, Here on Gilligan’s Isle, page 20 (1993)) and a YouTube clip of the opening.

So I can’t speak to the book, but like others I don’t see the flag being at half-mast. It’s likely a sloppy job. I mean if the US Marines can fly the Canadian flag upside down, some schmuck at a marina can do a half ass job raising a flag.

Okay, you win. It’s at half-mast, and for exactly the reason you state.

It is a myth because the flag in question is not at half-mast.

I remember hearing this as well, but after watching the opening again, it does look like the flag is at full mast.

Not sure if this works on all browsers, but with Chrome and Firefox if you hold CTRL while scrolling up with the mouse wheel the page will be larger and easier to read.