History of Nautical Flags

History of Nautical Signal Flags:

The International Maritime Flag System has been used for over 150 years by sailors and boaters to signal between ships and shore. In 1857, the British Board of Trade published the International Code of Signals for the means of maritime communications. The original Code included 18 signal flags, which could communicate as many as 17,000 different messages. In 1932, the Code was expanded to include six additional languages: French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and Norwegian. By 1969, Russian and Greek languages were added and each of the alpha-numeric nautical signal flags was assigned a meaning under the International Code of Signals. Besides providing maritime communication, signal flags today are used to dress ships for ceremonial and festive occasions. Mariners string the flags end-to-end and hang them from the rigging in a bow-to-stern direction.

Signal Flags: Colors and Meaning:

The signaling flags are composed of different colors, shapes, and markings, which used alone or in combination, spell out different messages. The flags include 26 square flags for the letters of the alphabet and ten numeral pendants. The colors of the flags were selected because they are the most distinguishable at sea - red, blue, yellow, black, and white.

One-flag signals are urgent or common signals. Two- flag signals are mostly distress and maneuvering signals. Three-flag signals are for points of the compass, relative bearings, standard times, verbs, punctuation, general code, and decode signals. Four-flags communicate geographical signals and names of ships. Five-flag signals communicate time and position. Six-flag signals are used, when necessary, to indicate north or south or east or west in latitude and longitude. Examples of two-flag signals include:

AC I am abandoning my vessel.
AN I need a doctor.
BR I require a helicopter.
CD I require immediate assistance.
DV I am drifting.
EF SOS/MAYDAY has been canceled.
FA Will you give me my position?
GW Man overboard. Please take action to pick him up.
JL You are running the risk of going aground.
NC I am in distress and require immediate assistance.
PD Your navigation lights are not visible.
PP Keep well clear of me.
QD I am going ahead.
QT I am going astern.
QQ I require health clearance.
QU Anchoring is prohibited.
RU Keep clear of me. I am maneuvering with difficulty.
SO You should stop your vessel instantly.
UM The Harbor is closed to traffic.
UP Permission to enter Harbor is urgently requested. I have an emergency.
ZL Your signal has been received but not understood.

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Ghost Malls! - Hyper-Consumption Kills The American Dream

Prediction ... Malls across the nation will first become ghost-malls as America's obsession with hyper-consumption has come to an end. What started twenty years ago as the biggest over-consume, live-beyond-your-means, it's-going-to-last-forever mindset has come to an abrupt halt. So abrupt that, the perpetrators of this phenomenon, all slammed into each other like a chain-reaction crash on an icy freeway. The consequential damage to the economy and the country's financial systems is beyond anything most people have ever seen in their lifetime. People hope that we are on the verge of change. We are. Just not the type they were expecting.

Entire chains of the same stores they used to frequent on a regular basis (or maybe even work at) have disappeared forever. Increased store closings and bankrupt commercial landlords are coming next. This will force the closing of half the malls in the country turning them into ghost malls, not unlike the rotting ghost towns of the Wild West that disappeared after the Gold Rush.

So what will happen to all these empty malls...these wastelands of commerce that, for so many years, were the destination for bored compulsive shoppers, seniors who used them as a indoor track, and the breeding ground for teenage hooligans? Perhaps they should be converted into shelters for the unemployed and homeless by city and state governments, housing thousands of people and families. After all, these abandoned malls are already set up with fully-functional food courts. These food courts could cook enough food daily for thousands of economic refugees. It wouldn't be hard for the government to bring in several fast food companies or create a large soup kitchen operation. Next, you would have to build more restrooms and shower facilities. The abandoned stores would be retrofitted with rows of bunk beds dorm-style, maximizing vertical and horizontal space, making room for thousands of out-of-work people who lost their homes to foreclosure. The abandoned movie theaters could be converted to training centers to retrain people for new careers. Children could engage in supervised play in the parking lots. One store in the mall could be turned into a job resource center where able workers gathered daily to be picked up for all types of temporary work. . . accountants, sales people, telemarketers, office workers, retail clerks, truck drivers, warehouse workers, stock brokers, derivatives traders, and hedge fund managers. Most stores had high-speed Internet connections. A learning center / library / computer lab would be available to all for kids to do their homework and adults to find jobs.

So, what have we got to lose? The most expensive part -the physical structure - is already there. It's just waiting for people who need help to move in.

Ray Holley, manager
Channeled Readings, LLC

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