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  • Nick Shillabeer

It's all in the Signal Flags...on JackSpeak Rugby Shirts

At JackSpeak UK we love all things nautical, and maritime signal flags can provide endless combinations for phrases or meanings. Our particular favourite is ‘I require a tug’ - imagine that on the back of your shirt!



In 1738, Mahé de la Bourdonniase, a French officer, developed the first numerical flag code, which served as the basis for later flag-hoist signalling. Our current signalling system was first drafted in 1855 and published in 1857, and was gradually adopted by most seafaring countries. It was revised in 1932.

But the purpose of the International Code of Signals is serious: it provides ways and means of communication in situations related essentially to the safety of navigation and persons, especially when language difficulties arise, or because radio silence is required. There is also a signalling system called Semaphore which uses the position of the flags relative to a person to denote the letter.


'I require a tug' signal flag

These flags are used at sea for communication between ships. They can spell out short messages, and individual flags and various combinations of flags also have special meanings. On ceremonial and festive occasions the signal flags are used to 'dress' (decorate) ships.


Some Interesting ‘signal flag’ facts and uses:

One-flag signals are urgent or very common signals

Two-flag signals are mostly distress and manoeuvring signals

Three-flag signals are for points of the compass, relative bearings, standard times, verbs, punctuation, also general code and decode signals

Four-flags are used for geographical signals, names of ships, bearings, etc

Five-flag signals are those relating to time and position

Six-flag signals are used when necessary to indicate north or south or east or west in latitude and longitude signals

Seven-flags are for longitude signals containing more than one hundred degrees.




In 2019 you can add your very own choice of signal flag to the back of one of our classic long sleeve vintage rugby shirts. This could be your favourite number, or a specific meaning that is special to you. Either way we can hand stitch it on for you with pleasure, just an additional £10 for one flag or £15 for two. Our rugby shirts are crafted from a luxe, soft cotton, and are a perfect smart casual option for the modern gentleman.


An ideal Christmas gift from Dartmouth!


Visit our website for more details….www.jack-speak.co.uk

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