Deadly Panhandle

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Panama City Beach has adopted a five-flag warning system to reduce confusions of what the flags mean.

City officials have agreed to replace their three-flag beach warning system with a state-endorsed five-flag version next year.

The News Herald of Panama City states the city agreed yesterday to conform with neighboring Walton County and nearby St. Andrews State Park, which already use five flags.

Police Major David Humphreys argued the purple flag, of the five-flag system, would have to be up every day because sharks always are present and that double red would be meaningless because authorities are not allowed to close the beaches.

Mayor Lee Sullivan discounted worries that the new system would confuse people.