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Yacht Club de France: Members' private signals (1930)

Last modified: 2010-11-13 by ivan sache
Keywords: yacht club de france | private signal | quotation mark | charcot | saltire (white) | cross (black) | fishes: 2 (black) | rabbit | magen david (white) |
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YCF members' private signals, 1930

Whitney Smith [smi76c] defines the private signals as "the flags of individuals who own yachts or other vessels. [The private signals] are properly displayed at the mainmast or main truck".

The 1930 Yearbook of the Yacht-Club de France shows 608 private signals belonging to the club's members.
In Ar Banniel [arb] #12 (Summer 2000), Alain Raullet describes a subset of 19 signals including only the black and white colors.

Ivan Sache, 26 July 2003


Jean Charcot

[Jean Charcot's signal]

Charcot's private signal - Image by Ivan Sache, 26 July 2003

Jean Charcot (1867-1936), was a physician, like his father Jean Martin Charcot (1825-1893), the famous psychiatrist. However, he is mostly known for his oceanographical campaigns in the polar regions.
Charcot purchased his first boat at the age of 25. He visited the Jan Mayen island in 1902. He explored the Antarctic regions for the first time in 1905 on his boat Le Français and made the first map of the Graham Land. During his second expedition in 1908-1910 on the Pourquoi-Pas ?, he reached the island now known as the Charcot Island. After having served in the British administration during the First World War, Charcot resumed his expeditions in northern Atlantic Ocean. From 1920 to 1936, he explored the Hebrides and then the eastern coast of Greenland. On the morning of 16 September 1936, following a 12-hr thunderstorm, the Pourquoi-Pas ? broke against reefs in the Faxafjord. Charcot and his crew died but one.

Charcot's private signal is diagonally divided white-black, with a black question mark in canton, refering to the name of his ship, the Pourquoi-Pas ? (Why Not?).
Alain Raullet spotted Charcot's signal on a tall ship during the Quai des Artistes Festival held in 1999 in Binic (Brittany).

Ivan Sache, 26 July 2003


Baron Gérard de Dampierre

[Baron de Dampierre's signal]

Baron de Dampierre's private signal - Image by Ivan Sache, 26 July 2003

Baron de Dampierre used as his signal a banner of his arms, "Argent three rhombs sable".

Ivan Sache, 26 July 2003


André Derrien

[Derrien's private signal]

Derrien's private signal - Image by Ivan Sache, 26 July 2003

Derrien used a white signal with the sketchy representation of a "long-eared" animal. The "long-eared animal" is a rabbit, whose name should never been said on board. This maritime tradition is said to date back to the early times of transoceanic sail shipping, after a few rabbits taken on board for food had escaped and devasted the grain cargo.

Ivan Sache, 26 July 2003


Michael Farmer

[Michael Farmer's private signal]

Farmer's private signal - Image by Ivan Sache, 26 July 2003

Farmer's signal is black with a white Magen David.

Ivan Sache, 26 July 2003


Marquis de Ivanrey (racing signal)

[Marquis de Ivanrey's signal]

Ivanrey's racing signal - Image by Ivan Sache, 26 July 2003

Marquis de Ivanrey's racing signal is black with a white canton.

Ivan Sache, 26 July 2003


Gabriel Moussié

[Gabriel Moussie's signal]

Moussié's private signal - Image by Ivan Sache, 26 July 2003

Moussié's signal is black with a white saltire.

Ivan Sache, 26 July 2003


Jean Nègre

[Jean Negre's signal]

Nègre's private signal - Image by Ivan Sache, 26 July 2003

Nègre'ssignal is white with a black diamond, whose points touch the borders of the flag. The choice of the black colour might allude to the yachtman's name.
Jean Nègre was allowed to use a private vexilloidal code, made of the four signal flags "OXSC" placed vertically. According to a Decree of the Minister of Marine from 29 December 1922, the 1,656 combinations "OXAB" to "OZVA" were allocated to private yachts.

Ivan Sache, 26 July 2003


Howard Powell

[Howard Powel's signal]

Powell's private signal - Image by Ivan Sache, 26 July 2003

Powell's signal is diagonally divided white-black with a black-white counterchanged rectangle.

Ivan Sache, 26 July 2003


C.A. Prince

[CA Prince's signal]

Prince's signal - Image by Ivan Sache, 26 July 2003

Prince's signal is a white tapered swallow-tailed charged with a black cross.

Ivan Sache, 26 July 2003


Bertie Scott

[Bertie Scott's signal]

Scott's signal - Image by Ivan Sache, 26 July 2003

Scott's signal is quartered black and white.

Ivan Sache, 26 July 2003


Comtesse de Sessevalle

[Sessevalle's signal]

Countess de Sessevalle's signal - Image by Ivan Sache, 26 July 2003

Countess de Sessevalle's signal is white with two accosted black fishes.

Ivan Sache, 26 July 2003


 
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