Flag Semaphores

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Flag semaphore is the telegraphy system conveying information at a distance by means of visual signals with hand-held flags. Information is encoded by the position of the flags; it is read when the flag is in a fixed position.

Semaphores were adopted and widely used in the maritime world in the 19th century. Semaphore flags are also sometimes used as means of communication in the mountains where oral or electronic communication is difficult to perform.

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The Japanese merchant marine and armed services have adapted the flag semaphore system to the Japanese language.

Because their writing system involves a syllabary of about twice the number of characters in the Latin alphabet, most characters take two displays of the flags to complete; others need three and a few only one.

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Via Wikipedia for more on the history and the full “alphabet” for both Latin letters and numbers, and the Japanese version as well.

This entry was posted in Culture, Gadgets by Heretic. Bookmark the permalink.

About Heretic

I design video games for a living, write fiction, political theory and poetry for personal amusement, and train regularly in Western European 16th century swordwork. On frequent occasion I have been known to hunt for and explore abandoned graveyards, train tunnels and other interesting places wherever I may find them, but there is absolutely no truth to the rumor that I am preparing to set off a zombie apocalypse. Nothing that will stand up in court, at least. I use paranthesis with distressing frequency, have a deep passion for history, anthropology and sociological theory, and really, really, really hate mayonnaise. But I wash my hands after the writing. Promise.

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