Maritime Signal Flags

These flags are used at sea for communication between ships. They can spell out short messages, and individual flags and various combinations of flags also have special meanings. On ceremonial and festive occasions the signal flags are used to 'dress' (decorate) ships.

This signalling system was drafted in 1855 and published in 1857, and was gradually adopted by most seafaring countries. It was revised in 1932.


International Maritime Signal Flags

Special meanings of individual flags


Further details of Martime Signal Flags

Other signal flag systems

Signalling at sea

Language-based communication systems

Maritime Signal Flags, Morse code, Semaphore

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