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Naval Signal Flags

blargtheawesome

... is very scientifical.
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Historically, ships did not have radios. The only way for them to communicate across the open water was through a system of flags and a log to keep track of their meanings. Standardization is vital in this pursuit so ships may communicate effectively and not have to guess at the meaning of a flag, and until now the Fuvurian Empire has had no standardized system in place. There have been regional flags, but ships would have to carry the flags and meanings for flags from each region of the Empire instead. This shall be no more, as these shall be the signal flags used across the Fuvurian Empire.

Flags are also used to denote the purpose of a vessel in the Empire. Ships must fly both the flags of their home port, which in most cases is the flag of the house who owns that port, as well as a flag which denotes their purpose. Captains are required to keep those two flags raised at all times while in Fuvurian waters, and refraining to do so is punished with a fine. Deliberate misuse of flags in signalling to Fuvurian military vessels is a crime equivalent to piracy, however.

When more than one ship is present, the flag which denotes the home port of a ship will be used to specify which is being signalled to.

These are all the recognized Fuvurian signal flags:

White. This is the universally applicable flag for surrender/submission. This flag being on here is more a Fuvurian acknowledgement of the internationally recognized symbol than anything else.

Yellow circle on white. This flag denotes a ship being used in the capacity of a merchant vessel.

Blue circle on black. The flag of Fuvurian warships, denoting their station and purpose on the waters.

Green circle on white. This signals the occupation of the vessel to be privately owned by a Fuvurian citizen used in any number of miscellaneous capacities. Transporation, as a pleasure yacht, so on.

Black vertical stripes on white. A flag which denotes the status as carrying prisoners. Especially common in the southern colonies, where it is common practice for the people of Rogue’s Hearth to be sentenced to long terms of service as prison labor for even fairly minor crimes.

White circle on black. This denotes a ship as having its home port be a foreign harbor, whether it be a military ship, a foreigner passing through, so on.

Three vertical red stripes on black. “Pull anchor, allow board.” This flag signals for a ship stop so that the ship which is signalling them may board them. Commonly used by Fuvurian military ships attempting to investigate another ship on open water, or for the crews of vessels on the open sea to communicate in person to one another.

Green stripes on white. “Give ample space.” This is used primarily for ships which may have dangerous cargo, or a disease spreading on board, or as a denial for “Pull anchor, allow board.”

Solid red. “No.” Expressing noncompliance with an issued signal.

Solid blue. “Yes.” Or “Acknowledged.” A confirmation of being signalled and compliance.

A red “T” on black. “Engage.” Used exclusively in military contexts for an admiral to initiate a naval engagement.

A yellow “T” on white. “Retreat.” Used exlusively in military contexts for an admiral to initiate a retreat.

Green “Z” on white. Denotes a lead ship for an armada.

There are also a number of flags which denote intention, such as “immediately upon interpretation, act on this.” However, most of the miscellaneous flags denote simple things - turning which direction and how many degrees. Whether a ship is too close or too far. Miscellaneous flags are unlisted, but do exist.
 
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