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See Tall Ships Race for an introduction and links.
SIGNAL FLAGS is the second activitiy within the theme Tall Ships Race.
Language can be spoken and written, but there are many other forms of language and communication. Many of them make use of universal codes:
- Maritime Signal Flags
- Buoys at sea
We will focus on the maritime signal flags. Every letter in the alphabet and evey number 0-9 has a flag. This way you can create and spell words using these flags. However, out at sea it would be too cumbersome and time consuming to send messages to other ships while spelling whole words or even sentences with flags. Therefore, every flag also respresents a signal or in other words a message. For example if the crew on a ship hoists the T-flag they send out the signal “Keep Clear”.
The combination of two flags gives another set of messages. See BoatSafe.com or SailorsChoice.com.
Additionally. the flags are being used in regattas to signal the start and to signal a fault.
Task 1: Make the words ‘Tall Ships Race’ with the (maritime signal) flags below.
- Before you look up which letter the flags represent, you can group the flags into two groups. What are the two groups?
- Use the internet to find out which letter the flags represent.
Task 2: Make your own name using the nautical flags.
Task 3: Design your own signaling flag using the rules given on the website BoatSafe.com
- Explain the choices you have made in the design.
- Add a signal/message to your flag.
Task 4: (Work in pairs) Make a short conversation using the flags. For example a question and reaction.
When spelling words and thus using the letters of the alphabet in communication on board, at sea, in the air and in the army, people use the phonetic alphabet. The phonetic alphabet can be found on the pages on flags: BoatSafe.com and SailorsChoice.com.
Task 5: Spell your name using the phonetic alphabet.
Task 6: Explain why this alphabet has been developed and why it is being used?
Task 7: (Group task)
Spell the name of someone in your group without looking at that person. If the person hears his/her name he/she takes over and starts spelling the name of someone else. If nobody reacts, you spell another name from someone in your group.
Aternatively: Spell a difficult word and let others react by saying or writing the word you spelled.