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International Code of Signals

Maritime Signal Flags

Last modified: 2020-04-19 by rob raeside
Keywords: international code of signals | maritime signal flags |
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See also:
Individually, each flag has a specific meaning. Below are the meanings from the 1951 Admiralty Manual of Seamanship and the newer meanings from the 1969 RYA Flags and Signals complied by David Prothero

ICS Letter A (Alpha)

[Signal Letter A] image by Antonio Martins Alpha; I am undergoing a speed trial, became: I have a diver down; keep well clear at slow speed.


ICS Letter B (Bravo)

[Signal Letter B] image by Antonio Martins Bravo; I am taking in or discharging explosives: became, I am taking in, or discharging, or carrying dangerous goods.


ICS Letter C (Charlie)

[Signal Letter C] image by Antonio Martins Charlie; Yes (Affirmative): became, Yes (Affirmative or 'The significance of the previous group should be read in the affirmative').


ICS Letter D (Delta)

[Signal Letter D] image by Antonio Martins


ICS Letter E (Echo)

[Signal Letter E] image by Antonio Martins Echo; I am directing my course to starboard: became, I am altering my course to starboard.


ICS Letter F (Foxtrot}

[Signal Letter F] image by Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 25 October 2005


ICS Letter G (Golf)

[Signal Letter G] image by Antonio Martins Golf; New additional meaning; (When made by fishing vessels operating in close proximity on the fishing grounds it means 'I am hauling nets')


ICS Letter H (Hotel)

[Signal Letter H] image by Antonio Martins


ICS Letter I (India)

[Signal Letter I] image by Phil Nelson India; I am directing my course to port: became, I am altering my course to port


ICS Letter J (Juliet)

[Signal Letter J] image by Antonio Martins Juliet; I am going to send a message by semaphore: became, I am on fire and have dangerous cargo on board; keep well clear of me.


ICS Letter K (Kilo)

[Signal Letter K] image by Antonio Martins Kilo; You should stop your vessel instantly became, I wish to communicate with you.


ICS Letter L (Lima)

[Signal Letter L] image by Antonio Martins Lima; You should stop - I have something important to communicate: became, You should stop your vessel instantly.


ICS Letter M (Mike)

[Signal Letter M] image by Antonio Martins Mike; I have a doctor on board: became My vessel is stopped and making no way through the water.


ICS Letter N (November)

[Signal Letter N] image by Antonio Martins November; No (Negative): became, No (Negative or 'The significance of the previous group should be read in the negative').


ICS Letter O (Oscar)

[Signal Letter O] image by Antonio Martins


ICS Letter P (Papa)

[Signal Letter P] image by Antonio Martins Papa; In harbour the same. At sea, Your lights are out or burning badly: became, when used by fishing vessels to mean, 'My nets have come fast upon an obstruction'.


ICS Letter Q (Quebec)

[Signal Letter Q] image by Antonio Martins The solid yellow flag was used to indicate quarantine before it was made the flag for Q. Also, it's worth noting that display of the yellow Q flag today means that the ship does not have disease aboard; it signifies "I request free pratique," which means I ask that the authorities in the port give me a clean bill of health.
Joe McMillan, 15 February 2005

See also:


ICS Letter R (Romeo)

[Signal Letter R] image by Phil Nelson Romeo; The way is off my ship - you may feel your way past me. (No current meaning available)


ICS Letter S (Sierra}

[Signal Letter S] image by Antonio Martins Sierra; My engines are going full speed astern: became, My engines are going astern.


ICS Letter T (Tango)

[Signal Letter T] image by Antonio Martins Tango; Do not pass ahead of me: became, Keep clear of me; I am engaged in pair trawling.


ICS Letter U (Uniform)

[Signal Letter U] image by Antonio Martins Uniform; You are standing into danger: became, You are running into danger.


ICS Letter V (Victor)

[Signal Letter V] image by Antonio Martins


ICS Letter W (Whiskey)

[Signal Letter W] image by Antonio Martins


ICS Letter X (X-Ray)

[Signal Letter X] image by Phil Nelson


ICS Letter Y (Yankee)

[Signal Letter Y] image by Antonio Martins Yankee; I am carrying mails: became, I am dragging my anchor.


ICS Letter Z (Zulu)

[Signal Letter Z] image by Phil Nelson
Zulu; To be used to address or call shore stations: became, I require a tug. or, when made by fishing vessels operating in close proximity on the fishing grounds it means, 'I am shooting nets'.
 
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