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Signal Flags: Soviet Navy

Last modified: 2012-01-14 by rob raeside
Keywords: maritime signal flags | signal flags | soviet union navy |
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Signal Flags

This issue, Cyrillic letter signal flags, has been discussed, but never fully documented. The infamous Navy.RU website (is it really official) includes a table with these flag.

There are a couple of questions to be answered: First one is about national scope: Are/were these used only by the Russian/Soviet Navy, or also by other navies and seamen from Cyrillic-written language communities? If not, which systems were/are used? If so, what about the extra characters needed (at least) for Serbian, lacking in the (Russian) sources mentioned above? Was there any other letter flag system in use in the Russian/Soviet Navy?

The page also mentions the meanings associated with each of these flags, apart from their literal meaning.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 21 August 2005


Signal flag А

[Signal flag А] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 21 August 2005

Cyrillic letter "А" ("A"), nickname: "аз" ("az"): red swallowtail flag with white square vertically centered at the hoist.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 21 August 2005


Signal flag Б

[Signal flag Б] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 21 August 2005

Cyrillic letter "Б" ("B"), nickname: "буки" ("buki"): white triangular flag with red disc. Similar to the ICS "one" flag.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 21, 25 August 2005


Signal flag В

[Signal flag В] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 21 August 2005

Cyrillic letter "В" ("V"), nickname: "веди" ("vedi"): red triangular flag with blue white-fimbriated triangle set to the hoist.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 21 August 2005


Signal flag Г

[Signal flag А] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 21 August 2005

Cyrillic letter "Г" ("G"), nickname: "глаголь" ("glagolh"): blue triangular flag.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 21 August 2005


Signal flag Д

[Signal flag Д] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 21 August 2005

Cyrillic letter "Д" ("D"), nickname: "добро" ("dobro") yellow flag. Identical to the ICS "Quebec" flag.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 21, 25 August 2005


Signal flag Е

[Signal flag Е] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 21 August 2005

Cyrillic letter "Е" ("E"), nickname: "есть" ("esth"): blue triangular flag with yellow triangle set to the hoist.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 21 August 2005


Signal flag Ж

[Signal flag Ж] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 21 August 2005

Cyrillic letter "Ж" ("Ẑquot;), nickname: "живёте" ("ẑive"te"): white flag with red diamond touching the edges. Identical to the ICS "Foxtrot" flag.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 21, 25 August 2005


Signal flag З

[Signal flag З] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 21 August 2005

Cyrillic letter "З" ("Z"), nickname: "земля" ("zemlâ"): 4x4-chequered blue and white flag. Identical to the ICS "November" flag.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 21, 25 August 2005


Signal flag И

[Signal flag И] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 21 August 2005

Cyrillic letter "И" ("I"), nickname: "иже" ("iẑe"): yellow over red triangular flag, horizontally divided in two equal parts. Similar to the ICS "seven" flag.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 21, 25 August 2005


Signal flag Й

[Signal flag Й] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 21 August 2005

Cyrillic letter "Й" ("Ĩ"), nickname: "и краткое" ("i kratkoe"): white swallowtail flag with black disc.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 21 August 2005


Signal flag К

[Signal flag К] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 21 August 2005

Cyrillic letter "К" ("K"), nickname: "како" ("kako"): blue over red flag, horizontally divided in two equal parts. Identical to the ICS "Echo" flag.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 21, 25 August 2005


Signal flag Л

[Signal flag Л] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 21 August 2005

Cyrillic letter "Л" ("L"), nickname: "люди" ("lűdi"): white flag with red cross over all.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 21 August 2005


Signal flag М

[Signal flag М] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 21 August 2005

Cyrillic letter "М" ("M"), nickname: "мыслете" ("myslete"): 6x6-chequered red and white flag.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 21 August 2005


Signal flag Н

[Signal flag Н] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 21 August 2005

Cyrillic letter "Н" ("N"), nickname: "наш" ("naŝ"): red swallowtail flag. Identical to the ICS "Bravo" flag. A possible pun on this letter flag might be that its nickname, "наш", means "our" in Russian, and indeed Soviets’ "our flag" was essentially a plain red cloth.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 21, 25 August 2005


"NASH" is a nickname of the letter (not the flag only) in the old Russian alphabet.
Victor Lomantsov, 25 August 2005


Signal flag О

[Signal flag О] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 21 August 2005

Cyrillic letter "О" ("O"), nickname: "он" ("on"): yellow triangular flag with vertical red stripe.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 21 August 2005


Signal flag П

[Signal flag П] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 25 August 2005

Cyrillic letter "П" ("P"), nickname: "покой" ("pokoĩ"): yellow and blue flag, vertically divided in two equal parts. (Identical to the ICS "Kilo"; flag.)
António Martins-Tuválkin, 25 August 2005


Signal flag Р

[Signal flag Р] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 25 August 2005

Cyrillic letter "Р" ("R"), nickname: "рцы" ("rcy"): horizontal triband of blue, white and blue. (Identical to the ICS "Juliet" flag.)
António Martins-Tuválkin, 25 August 2005


Signal flag С

[Signal flag Т] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 25 August 2005

Cyrillic letter "Т" ("T"), nickname: "твёрдо" ("tvërdo"): blue flag with white saltire though-out. (Identical to the ICS "Mike" flag.)
António Martins-Tuválkin, 25 August 2005


Signal flag Т

[Signal flag Т] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 25 August 2005

Cyrillic letter "Т" ("T"), nickname: "твёрдо" ("tvërdo"): yellow and black quartered flag. (Identical to the ICS "Lima" flag.)
António Martins-Tuválkin, 25 August 2005


Signal flag У

[Signal flag У] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 25 August 2005

Cyrillic letter "У" ("U"), nickname: "ухо" ("uqo"): Tapering rectangular red flag with two white stripes over all. (Looks like ICS answering pennant.) I'm not sure about the exact specs.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 25 August 2005


Signal flag Ф

[Signal flag Ф] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 25 August 2005

Cyrillic letter "Ф" ("F"), nickname: "ферт" ("fert"): yellow flag with black disc. (Identical to the ICS "India" flag.)
António Martins-Tuválkin, 25 August 2005


Signal flag Х

[Signal flag Х] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 25 August 2005

Cyrillic letter "Х" ("Q"), nickname: "ха" ("qa"): White flag with red couped cross, its vertical crossbar shorter than the horizontal crossbar.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 25 August 2005


Signal flag Ц

[Signal flag Ц] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 25 August 2005

Cyrillic letter "Ц" ("C"), nickname: "цепочка" ("cepoĉka"): red, yellow and blue horizontal triband.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 25 August 2005


Signal flag Ч

[Signal flag Ч] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 25 August 2005

Cyrillic letter "Ч" ("Ĉ"), nickname: "червь" ("ĉervh"): blue flag with small yellow diamond.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 25 August 2005


Signal flag Ш

[Signal flag Ш] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 25 August 2005

Cyrillic letter "Ш" ("Ŝ"), nickname: "шапка" ("ŝapka"): white flag with five blue rectangles, spaced evenly and set per saltire (2+1+2).
António Martins-Tuválkin, 25 August 2005


Signal flag Щ

[Signal flag Щ] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 25 August 2005

Cyrillic letter "Щ" ("X"), nickname: "ща" ("xa"): white triangular flag with red cross throughout, off-centered to the hoist. (Similar to the ICS "nine" flag.)
António Martins-Tuválkin, 25 August 2005


Signal flag Ъ

[Signal flag Ъ] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 25 August 2005

Cyrillic letter "Ъ" ("W"), nickname: "твёрдый знак" ("tvërdyĩ znak"): black over white triangular flag, divided horizontally in two equal parts. (Similar to the ICS "six" flag.)
António Martins-Tuválkin, 25 August 2005


Signal flag Ы

[Signal flag Ы] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 25 August 2005

Cyrillic letter "Ы" ("Y"), nickname: "еры" ("ery"): black flag with white ascending diagonal stripe.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 25 August 2005


Signal flag Ь

[Signal flag Ь] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 25 August 2005

Cyrillic letter "Ь" ("H"), nickname: "мягкий знак" ("mâgkiĩ znak"): blue and white triangular flag, divided vertically.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 25 August 2005


Signal flag Э

[Signal flag Э] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 25 August 2005

Cyrillic letter "Э" ("Ę"), nickname: "э оборотное" ("ę oborotnoe"): flag with five horizontal stripes, of blue, white, red, white and blue. (Identical to the ICS "Charlie" flag.).
António Martins-Tuválkin, 25 August 2005


Signal flag Ю

[Signal flag Ю] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 25 August 2005

Cyrillic letter "Ю" ("Ű"), nickname: "юла" ("űla"): white flag with red saltire though-out. (Identical to the ICS "Victor" flag.)
António Martins-Tuválkin, 25 August 2005


Signal flag Я

[Signal flag Я] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 25 August 2005

Cyrillic letter "Я" ("Â"), nickname: "яко" ("âko"): red flag with yellow cross over all. (Identical to the ICS "Romeo" flag.)
António Martins-Tuválkin, 25 August 2005


Repeater Pennants

First Repeater

[First Repeater] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 25 August 2005

First repeater ("1-й дополнительный"): white flag with blue border and red rectangle; I'm not sure about the exact geometric construction of this design. (Similar to the ICS ">Whiskey" flag.)
António Martins-Tuválkin, 25 August 2005


Second Repeater

[Second Repeater] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 25 August 2005

Second repeater ("2-й дополнительный"): red flag with five yellow stripes from lower hoist to upper fly, forming an even striped pattern. (Similar to the ICS "Yankee" flag.)
António Martins-Tuválkin, 25 August 2005


Third Repeater

[Third Repeater]
image by António Martins-Tuválkin, Yosef Obskura and Željko Heimer, 21 August 2005

Third repetition pennant ("3-й дополнительный"): Russian naval jack with wide white border. I'm not sure about the exact specs this is just a regular jack with superimposed (not added) border. This is truly an interesting flag, especially since it was in use during the soviet era, when the mentioned naval jack was replaced by the soviet one and whose display may have been considered seditious. This may illustrate how much the series of signal flag was designed with a practical agenda in mind -- here I infer an attempt to make use of discarded jacks.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 21 August 2005


Fourth Repeater

[Fourth Repeater] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 21 August 2005

Fourth  repetition pennant ("4-й дополнительный"): triangular flag quartered of white, black, red and yellow. (Similar to the ICS "nine" flag.)
António Martins-Tuválkin, 21 August 2005
 
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