Although signal flags have been largely replaced by two-way radio and cell phones, in the 19th century they were how ships at sea communicated with each other. Each flag stands for a letter, but also represents a full message. For example, the “T” flag also meant “keep clear!” Today the flags are reserved for yacht racing and formal occasions. Choose your three-initial monogram and artisans in New England will create a coaster set on cork-backed, rustic tumbled marble that shows your initials along with the corresponding signal flags. Click here for a list of initials and their corresponding flags, or click on the Flag Meanings tab to see what phrase each flag symbolizes in the International Code of Symbols.
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Made in the U.S.A. 4" square.
International maritime signal flags and their meanings These are the meanings of each signal flag in the International Code of Signals, with alternate meanings that are specific to the U.S. Navy or to sailing regattas.
A: I have a diver down; keep well clear at slow speed.
B: I am taking in, discharging, or carrying dangerous cargo.
C: Yes, or affirmative (Regatta: Change of course)
D: I am maneuvering with difficulty; keep clear.
E: I am directing my course to starboard.
F: I am disabled; communicate with me. (Navy, when displayed on aircraft carriers: Flight operations underway)
G: I require a pilot.
H: I have a pilot on board.
I: I am directing my course to port. (Navy: Coming alongside; Regatta: Round the ends starting rule)
J: I am on fire and have dangerous cargo; keep clear.
K: I wish to communicate with you.
L: When displayed at sea, usually accompanied by four numerals that indicate latitude: You should stop your vessel immediately. When at port: The ship is quarantined. (Regatta: Come within hail or follow me.)
M: My vessel is stopped; making no way. (Regatta: Mark missingthe vessel displaying this flag is a replacement for the missing course marker)
N: No or negative (Regatta: All races are abandoned; return for new start.)
O: Man overboard.
P: When displayed at sea, used by fishing vessels to indicate that nets are caught on an obstruction. When displayed at port: All personnel return to ship; proceeding to sea.
Q: Ship meets health regulations; request clearance to port. (Navy, when displayed on an aircraft carrier: All boats return to ship.)
R: No ICS meaning. Was previously used to mean, “The way is off my ship.” (Navy: Preparing to replenish)
T: Keep clear; engaged in trawling (Navy: Do not pass ahead of me.)
U: You are running into danger.
V: I require assistance.
W: I require medical assistance.
X: Stop carrying out your intentions and watch for my signal. (Regatta: Individual recall)
Y: I am dragging anchor. (Navy: Ship has visual communications duty; Regatta: Wear life jackets)
Z: I require a tug. (Regatta: 20 percent scoring penalty)
Our rustic tiles are carved from large marble blocks, ensuring that no two stones will ever be exactly alike. Then the pieces are tumbled to give them character that can be seen on every surface, edge, and corner. The result is a one-of-a-kind keepsake with more personality that would be possible from a piece of manufactured ceramic.