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A Signal Flag Locker
by John MacFarlane 2016
A typical signal flag locker (Photo from the John MacFarlane collection. )
To speed up flag hoisting, flags were stowed in the locker with the Inglefield clips outward, so that the signalman could bend on three or four flags and then the halyard pulled the whole lot out as the group was hoisted. In the first half of the 20th Century, even with the advent of radio, manoeuvring with the aid of flags still held sway. It could only be used by day of course, but then it was not policy to engage in full scale battles or other evolutions at night. Flags were an efficient system for ships communicatingt in close company (especially maintaining radio silence), and popular because admirals and captains could see what was happening and they felt firmly in control of the situation.
Each navy had its own flag codes, and surprisingly it was not until after the Second World War that all NATO navies adopted a common flag code system.
Some flags are common to civilian and military usage but the military powered have developed extra specialized flags to meet their own requirments.
To quote from this article please cite:
MacFarlane, John M. (2016) A Signal Flag Locker. Nauticapedia.ca 2016. http://nauticapedia.ca/Articles/Flag_Locker.php
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