International Code Signaling Flags

International code signaling flags flags are rarely used or seen these days.

However, I was given this tapestry of flags by my good friend Isabel while I was over-wintering in the South of Spain in the marina at Almerimar, and just wanted an excuse to show it off.

One-flag Signaling Flags are normally used for urgent or very common signals.

A; alpha, Diver down keep clear (when stationary) or I am undergoing a speed trial.

B; bravo, dangerous cargo

C; Charlie, Affirmative

D; delta, Keep clear Keep clear of me, I am maneuvering with difficulty.

E; echo, Altering course to starboard

F; foxtrot, I am disabled

G; golf, I require a Pilot

H; hotel, Pilot on board

I; India, Altering course to Port

J; Juliet, On fire keep clear

K; kilo, I wish to communicate

L; lima, Stop instantly

M; mike, I am stopped. Or I have a doctor on board.

N; November, No negative

O; Oscar, Man overboard

P; papa, About to sail The vessel is about to proceed sea. Or If already at sea - Your lights are out or burning badly. Or Fishing boat at sea - My nets have come fast upon an obstruction.

Q; Quebec, My vessel is healthy and I request free practique.

R; romeo, The way is off my ship. You may pass me.

S; sierra, My engines are going full speed astern

T; Tango, Keep clear of me, I am engaged in pair trawling. Or Do not pass ahead of me.

U; Uniform, You are running into danger.

V; Victor, I require assistance. (not distress)

W; Whiskey, I require medical assistance.

X; X-Ray, Stop carrying out your intentions and watch for my signals.

Y; Yankee, I am dragging anchor. Or I am carrying mails.

Z; Zulu, I require a tug.

Two-flag signaling flags are mostly distress and maneuvering signals.

AC; I am abandoning my vessel.

AN; I need a doctor.

BR; I require a helicopter.

CD; I require immediate assistance.

DV; I am drifting.

EF; SOS/MAYDAY has been canceled.

FA; Will you give me my position?

GW; Man overboard. Please take action to pick him up.

JL; You are running the risk of going aground.

LO; I am not in my correct position: used by a light vessel

NC; I am in distress and require immediate assistance.

PD; Your navigation lights are not visible.

PP; Keep well clear of me.

QD; I am going ahead.

QT; I am going astern.

QQ; I require health clearance.

QU; Anchoring is prohibited.

QX; I request permission to anchor.

RU; Keep clear of me. I am maneuvering with difficulty.

SO; You should stop your vessel instantly.

UM; The Harbour is closed to traffic.

UP; Permission to enter Harbour is urgently requested. I have an emergency.

YU; I am going to communicate with your station by means of the International code of signals.

ZD1; Please report me to the Coast Guard, New York

ZD2; Please report me to Lloyds, London

ZL; Your signal has been received but not understood.

Signaling flags.

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