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nation. All ships, therefore, when meeting at sea, are enabled to communicate with one another, no matter if one is an American and the other a Greek, or whether the commander of one vessel is able to master the language of the other in a verbal conversation.
20. Old Code of Signals.-The old international code of signals, which was abolished January 1, 1902, has been in existence since 1857. It consisted of 18 flags, representing the consonants of the alphabet, viz., 1 burgee, 4 pennants, and 13 square flags, besides a pennant called the code signal, which served also as the answering pennant. By this code of signals about 78,000 separate signals could be made; each signal made in one hoist, in one place, and without the use of distinguishing or repeating flags or pennants, no hoist being composed of more than 4 flags.
21. New Code of Signals.-The new international code of signals, shown in Fig. 6, consists of 26 flags, viz., 2 burgees, 5 pennants, and 19 square flags, besides the code flag, which is used also as the answering pennant. Of the 26 flags, 10 are new, namely, A, E, F, I, L, O, U, X, Y, and Z; of these, F and L have been retained from the old code, being slightly changed, the former from a red pennant with a white circular spot to a red pennant with white cross-lines; the latter from alternating blue and yellow squares to yellow and black squares. In Fig. 6, the new flags are marked by a star.
The new code, which was prepared under the supervision of the British Board of Trade, and adopted by all maritime powers with the exception of Turkey, went into effect January 1, 1902. All vessels that used the new code before that date had to hoist as their code signal, or answering signal, the code flag with the fly tied to the halyards, having above it a black ball, or shape resembling a ball, as shown in the upper part of Fig. 6.
22. New Code Book.-The new code book published by the Bureau of Equipment, United States Navy Department, is divided into three parts.
Part I contains instructions on how to make and how to answer a signal, accompanied by suitable examples; then comes an alphabetical spelling table, numeral signals, urgent and important signals, compass signals, signals appertaining to money and all kinds of measurements, signals relating to latitude, longitude, time, barometer, thermometer, phrase signals formed with auxiliary verbs, and geographical signals. Of these signals, only those coming under the heading of “urgent and important” are made with 2 flags in a hoist; all others are made with 3 flags, with the exception of geographical signals, which are made with 4 flags in a hoist.
Part II contains an index of general vocabulary signals and a second list of geographical signals, in which the name of places are alphabetically arranged. The vocabulary signals are with few exceptions 3-flag signals.
Part III contains a list of storm-warning display, lifesaving, and time-signal stations of the United States; also Lloyd's signal stations of the world, and American, English, and French semaphore, distance, and wigwag codes.
23. In connection with the make-up and interpretation of signals it is of importance that the student should learn first of all to distinguish the flags so as to be able to tell at a glance what letters are contained in a hoist; secondly, he should understand the distinctive character of the various signals as indicated by the form of the hoist, or the number of flags of which it is composed. All applicants for masters' and officers' certificates are required to pass examinations on this subject. The best way to familiarize oneself with the system of signals and signaling is practice in combination with a careful study of the instructions given in the code book.
CHARACTER OF SIGNALS AS INDICATED BY THE NUMBER O F FLAGS IN A lioIST
24. One-Flag Signal.-The meaning of flags and pennants hoisted singly and with the code flag is found on pages 7 and 35 of the code book.