Adventist Youth Honors Answer Book/Semaphore Code

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The newer flag semaphore system uses two short poles with square flags, which a flagperson holds in different positions to signal letters of the alphabet and numbers. The flagperson holds one pole in each hand, and extends each arm in one of eight possible directions. Except for in the rest position, the flags cannot overlap. The flags are colored differently based on whether the signals are sent by sea or by land. At sea, the flags are colored red and yellow. While on land, they are red and white.

The following semaphore characters are presented as one would face the signalman (in other words, pretend you can see the signalman's face in the illustrations). The letters almost follow a perfect, regular pattern, but don't be fooled by the first several. J, V, and Y break the pattern. We present them here in alphabetical order, and then again by position in a series of circles.

Alphabetic Order[edit]

Semaphore Ready.svg
Rest position
Semaphore Numeric.svg
Numerals
Semaphore Error.svg
Attention
Semaphore Cancel.svg
Cancel
Semaphore Alpha.svg
A / 1
Semaphore Bravo.svg
B / 2
Semaphore Charlie.svg
C / 3 / Ack
Semaphore Delta.svg
D / 4
Semaphore Echo.svg
E / 5 / Error 9x's
Semaphore Foxtrot.svg
F / 6
Semaphore Golf.svg
G / 7
Semaphore Hotel.svg
H / 8
Semaphore India.svg
I / 9
Semaphore Juliet.svg
J / Letters
Semaphore Kilo.svg
K / 0
Semaphore Lima.svg
L
Semaphore Mike.svg
M
Semaphore November.svg
N
Semaphore Oscar.svg
O
Semaphore Papa.svg
P
Semaphore Quebec.svg
Q
Semaphore Romeo.svg
R
Semaphore Sierra.svg
S
Semaphore Tango.svg
T
Semaphore Uniform.svg
U
Semaphore Victor.svg
V
Semaphore Whiskey.svg
W
Semaphore X-ray.svg
X
Semaphore Yankee.svg
Y
Semaphore Zulu.svg
Z

By position[edit]

The Grand Circle Semaphore Alpha.svg
A
Semaphore Bravo.svg
B
Semaphore Charlie.svg
C
Semaphore Delta.svg
D
Semaphore Echo.svg
E
Semaphore Foxtrot.svg
F
Semaphore Golf.svg
G
A Circle No work.svg Semaphore Hotel.svg
H
Semaphore India.svg
I
Semaphore Kilo.svg
K
Semaphore Lima.svg
L
Semaphore Mike.svg
M
Semaphore November.svg
N
B Circle No work.svg No work.svg Semaphore Oscar.svg
O
Semaphore Papa.svg
P
Semaphore Quebec.svg
Q
Semaphore Romeo.svg
R
Semaphore Sierra.svg
S
C Circle No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg Semaphore Tango.svg
T
Semaphore Uniform.svg
U
Semaphore Yankee.svg
Y
Semaphore Cancel.svg
Cancel
D Circle No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg Semaphore Numeric.svg
Numerals
Semaphore Juliet.svg
J
Semaphore Victor.svg
V
E Circle No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg Semaphore Whiskey.svg
W
Semaphore X-ray.svg
X
F Circle No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg Semaphore Zulu.svg
Z

Tips[edit]

When you are first learning semaphores, a good Bible text to practice with is Philippians 4:8, as it repeats the phrase "whatever is" several times. Since it is so repetitive, You should be able to quickly signal the "whatever is" portion to get your speed up. This verse contains all the letters of the alphabet except j, q, and z which can be learned afterwards.

Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.


Graphically[edit]

Semaphore Foxtrot.svgF Semaphore India.svgI Semaphore November.svgN Semaphore Alpha.svg
A
Semaphore Lima.svgL Semaphore Lima.svgL Semaphore Yankee.svgY No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg
Semaphore Bravo.svgB Semaphore Romeo.svgR Semaphore Oscar.svgO Semaphore Tango.svgT Semaphore Hotel.svgH Semaphore Echo.svgE Semaphore Romeo.svgR Semaphore Sierra.svgS No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg
Semaphore Whiskey.svgW Semaphore Hotel.svgH Semaphore Alpha.svg
A
Semaphore Tango.svgT Semaphore Echo.svgE Semaphore Victor.svgV Semaphore Echo.svgE Semaphore Romeo.svgR No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg
Semaphore India.svgI Semaphore Sierra.svgS No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg
Semaphore Tango.svgT Semaphore Romeo.svgR Semaphore Uniform.svgU Semaphore Echo.svgE No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg
Semaphore Whiskey.svgW Semaphore Hotel.svgH Semaphore Alpha.svg
A
Semaphore Tango.svgT Semaphore Echo.svgE Semaphore Victor.svgV Semaphore Echo.svgE Semaphore Romeo.svgR No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg
Semaphore India.svgI Semaphore Sierra.svgS No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg
Semaphore November.svgN Semaphore Oscar.svgO Semaphore Bravo.svgB Semaphore Lima.svgL Semaphore Echo.svgE No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg
Semaphore Whiskey.svgW Semaphore Hotel.svgH Semaphore Alpha.svg
A
Semaphore Tango.svgT Semaphore Echo.svgE Semaphore Victor.svgV Semaphore Echo.svgE Semaphore Romeo.svgR No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg
Semaphore India.svgI Semaphore Sierra.svgS No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg
Semaphore Romeo.svgR Semaphore India.svgI Semaphore Golf.svgG Semaphore Hotel.svgH Semaphore Tango.svgT No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg
Semaphore Whiskey.svgW Semaphore Hotel.svgH Semaphore Alpha.svg
A
Semaphore Tango.svgT Semaphore Echo.svgE Semaphore Victor.svgV Semaphore Echo.svgE Semaphore Romeo.svgR No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg
Semaphore India.svgI Semaphore Sierra.svgS No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg
Semaphore Papa.svgP Semaphore Uniform.svgU Semaphore Romeo.svgR Semaphore Echo.svgE No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg
Semaphore Whiskey.svgW Semaphore Hotel.svgH Semaphore Alpha.svg
A
Semaphore Tango.svgT Semaphore Echo.svgE Semaphore Victor.svgV Semaphore Echo.svgE Semaphore Romeo.svgR No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg
Semaphore India.svgI Semaphore Sierra.svgS No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg
Semaphore Lima.svgL Semaphore Oscar.svgO Semaphore Victor.svgV Semaphore Echo.svgE Semaphore Lima.svgL Semaphore Yankee.svgY No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg
Semaphore Whiskey.svgW Semaphore Hotel.svgH Semaphore Alpha.svg
A
Semaphore Tango.svgT Semaphore Echo.svgE Semaphore Victor.svgV Semaphore Echo.svgE Semaphore Romeo.svgR No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg
Semaphore India.svgI Semaphore Sierra.svgS No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg
Semaphore Alpha.svg
A
Semaphore Delta.svgD Semaphore Mike.svgM Semaphore India.svgI Semaphore Romeo.svgR Semaphore Alpha.svg
A
Semaphore Bravo.svgB Semaphore Lima.svgL Semaphore Echo.svgE No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg

More Tips[edit]

Learn some landmark letters first and commit them to memory. Groups of related letters are a good choice. For example, these three make straight lines:

Semaphore Delta.svgD Semaphore Romeo.svgR Semaphore Lima.svgL No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg

These four are made by holding the flags 90° to one another, but all are at 45° to the signaler:

Semaphore Uniform.svgU Semaphore November.svgN Semaphore India.svgI Semaphore X-ray.svgX No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg

These four are made by holding the flags 45° apart:

Semaphore Alpha.svg
A
Semaphore Hotel.svgH Semaphore Oscar.svgO Semaphore Tango.svgT No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg

Most of these are fairly common letters (except for X), so knowing them will allow you to spell the better part of most words. Add an A and an S to the mix:

Semaphore Alpha.svg
A
Semaphore Sierra.svgS No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg

and you can spell a quick sentence:

Semaphore Uniform.svgU Semaphore November.svgN Semaphore India.svgI Semaphore X-ray.svgX Semaphore Ready.svgRest Semaphore India.svgI Semaphore Sierra.svgS Semaphore Ready.svgRest No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg
Semaphore Alpha.svg
A
Semaphore Ready.svgRest Semaphore Hotel.svgH Semaphore Oscar.svgO Semaphore Tango.svgT Semaphore Romeo.svgR Semaphore Oscar.svgO Semaphore Delta.svgD Semaphore Ready.svgRest Semaphore Oscar.svgO Semaphore Sierra.svgS Semaphore Ready.svgRest No work.svg No work.svg No work.svg