International Maritime Signal Flags are used to signal between two ships or between ship and shore. They can be used to spell out messages, or used singly or in combinations to convey special messages.
Letter - Phonetic Name - Morse Code
ICS meaning as single flag
"I have a diver down; keep well clear at slow speed."
_ . . .
"I am taking in or discharging or carrying dangerous goods."
_ . _ .
_ . .
"Keep clear of me; I am maneuvering with difficulty."
"I am altering my course to starboard."
. . _ .
"I am disabled; communicate with me."
_ _ .
"I require a pilot." By fishing vessels near fishing grounds: "I am hauling nets."
. . . .
"I have a pilot on board."
"I am altering my course to port."
. _ _ _
"I am on fire and have dangerous cargo on board: keep well clear of me." or "I am leaking dangerous cargo."
_ . _
"I wish to communicate with you."
. _ . .
At sea: "You should stop your vessel instantly.
"My vessel is stopped and making no way through the water."
_ _ _
. _ _ .
In harbour: All persons should report on board as the vessel is about to proceed to sea. At sea: It may be used by fishing vessels to mean: "My nets have come fast upon an obstruction."
_ _ . _
"My vessel is 'healthy' and I request free pratique."
. _ .
No ICS meaning as single flag.
. . .
"I am operating astern propulsion."
"Keep clear of me." Fishing boats: "Keep clear of me; I am engaged in pair trawling."
. . _
"You are running into danger."
. . . _
"I require assistance."
. _ _
"I require medical assistance."
_ . . _
"Stop carrying out your intentions and watch for my signals."
_ . _ _
"I am dragging my anchor."
_ _ . .
"I require a tug." By fishing vessels near fishing grounds: "I am shooting nets."
Message is understood. Also, numeric decimal point.
_ _ _ _ _
. _ _ _ _
. . _ _ _
. . . _ _
. . . . _
. . . . .
_ . . . .
_ _ . . .
_ _ _ . .
_ _ _ _ .
The first substitute repeats the upper flag or pennant of a hoist, the second substitute repeats the second flag or pennant, and so on.
Substitute for the first flag in this hoist.
Substitute for the second flag in this hoist.
Substitute for the third flag in this hoist.
Details on Semaphore flags can be found here. Semaphore flags games for kids can be found here and here.
Copyright 1999-2021 by Clive Lawford (e-mail). All Rights Reserved. You are very welcome to link to this site, though any form of duplication requires written consent from me unless otherwise stated.