What do these flags mean

Sqiz
27th February 2010, 16:39
Please can you tell me what this combination of flags means.

White/Red
Yellow
Red ensign
Green/White/Green

George.GM
27th February 2010, 17:03
1. I have a pilot on board
2. My ship is healthy I require free pratique
3. British registered merchant ship
4. Probably a company house flag. Palm line ?

Boseley
27th February 2010, 17:05
From left to right
I have a pilot on board,

My vessel is healthy,

British merchant flag

National flag of Nigeria

These would be displayed on a British ship arriving in a Nigerian Port

Lancastrian
27th February 2010, 17:09
All you could possibly want to know about flags - http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/

jaydeeare
27th February 2010, 19:12
Flying the Nigerian flag could be a courtesy flag.

Billieboy
27th February 2010, 19:39
Seems that someone left out the flag third from left, (wrapped around the halyard), which should be Red with a chevron out of it, indicating, "I am carrying explosives or dangerous cargo", so the ship is a British tanker arriving at a Nigerian port, probably Bonny(sp), to load crude. As there is No house flag flying on the main mast, it's probably a BP tanker who is flying the house flag on the Fore mast Yard.

Lancastrian
27th February 2010, 19:53
Which is where the Courtesy flag should be.

Boseley
27th February 2010, 19:58
Well done you lot!

Once at sea always at sea!

Bob Sendall

Sqiz
27th February 2010, 20:43
Seems that someone left out the flag third from left, (wrapped around the halyard), which should be Red with a chevron out of it, indicating, "I am carrying explosives or dangerous cargo", so the ship is a British tanker arriving at a Nigerian port, probably Bonny(sp), to load crude. As there is No house flag flying on the main mast, it's probably a BP tanker who is flying the house flag on the Fore mast Yard.

Awesome, I had no idea you could get so much from a few flags!

That is very helpful indeed - the photo was taken while I was on the Shell tanker Pallium in 1980 and knowing that the last flag is Nigerian I can pin it down to late April when we called at Lagos.

Billieboy
28th February 2010, 10:17
My fault Sqiz, I should have said Shell, as not many BP ships got down to Nigeria. In addition the mast looks like a Shell, "Christmas tree".

Dickyboy
28th February 2010, 10:38
The Nigerian flag could also be flown at the port of departure prior to arriving at the Nigerian port. To indicate the ships destination. This obviously isn't the case in this picture as the Q flag indicates an arrival.

Billyboy

Don't BP tankers run to Nigeria anymore then? Used to be a regular calling point for them. Forcados, and the dreaded ''Lagos/Okrika Run'' were common ports of call in the 70s.

Cisco
28th February 2010, 10:57
The Nigerian flag could also be flown at the port of departure prior to arriving at the Nigerian port. To indicate the ships destination.

Wot's the flag for LEFO then ?? :)

I think the practice you allude to was mainly a passo ship departure from the UK sort of thing... same folks who ...when asked 'what ship, where bound?' on the lamp ...would just send 'Cape Mail' and then get back to the more important watchkeeping issues such as sending the bridge boy down to get them some scampi for their supper.

Off topic... I have some discharges which are neither FGN or HT but are stamped 'Cape Mail"....... I kid you not....

trotterdotpom
28th February 2010, 11:31
I never heard of ships flying a flag to show where they were bound, some places would have said that was illegal.

Cisco, you may also remember the "Gabo Mail" on Australian coastal ships - 24 hours notice required to get the sack given out off Gabo Island, 24 hours steaming to Newcastle.

Glad to see you're in Argentina and away from the terrible disaster in Chile.

Rgds, John T.

Billieboy
28th February 2010, 11:31
The Nigerian flag could also be flown at the port of departure prior to arriving at the Nigerian port. To indicate the ships destination. This obviously isn't the case in this picture as the Q flag indicates an arrival.

Billyboy

Don't BP tankers run to Nigeria anymore then? Used to be a regular calling point for them. Forcados, and the dreaded ''Lagos/Okrika Run'' were common ports of call in the 70s.

Dicky, I was down there a couple of times in the sixties, never saw a BP job anywhere near Nigeria, I suppose that they went there later in the seventies, after the offshore facilities had been improved, I didn't mean that they never went there, but that some of them flew their house flag on the foremast yard.

TIM HUDSON
28th February 2010, 12:15
Was at the Bonny River on the Border Reiver 1971. A Lowland Tanker Co.(B.P.) ship managed by Common Brothers. Sadly a very frequently visited port in those days!.

Cisco
28th February 2010, 12:16
I never heard of ships flying a flag to show where they were bound, some places would have said that was illegal.

Cisco, you may also remember the "Gabo Mail" on Australian coastal ships - 24 hours notice required to get the sack given out off Gabo Island, 24 hours steaming to Newcastle.

Glad to see you're in Argentina and away from the terrible disaster in Chile.

Rgds, John T.
Gday John,
Standard practice for U-C mailboats leaving Soton.

Yes remember the Gabo Mail...
In Oz just now ... back to BA in a fortnight. I think the news from Chile is going to get a whole lot worse before it gets better... . I had the misfortune to be over the epicentre of one in 2007... heading up Seno Aisen to Chacabuco.. half a mountain fell into the sea about 4 miles in front of us... not nice... http://www.panoramio.com/photo/2891773
Getting a bit off topic here.....

Allan Wareing
28th February 2010, 12:50
1. I have a pilot on board
2. My ship is healthy I require free pratique
3. British registered merchant ship
4. Probably a company house flag. Palm line ?

I am a bit puzzled about the pilot flag.Has the code been changed as I have strong feeling that 40 odd years ago the pilot flag was white over red,ie turned 90 degrees clockwise from the one shown.
Just an old codger, Allan

Lancastrian
28th February 2010, 13:01
No this is Flag Hotel as its always been. The Pilot flag you refer to was that flown by pilot boats.

From FOTW - The white-over-red Pilot flag was first created by a British statute in 1808 (during the reign of George III). The 1808 Act provided that the pilot flag: (1) was to be carried in boats carrying the pilot, and then (2) in the ship in which the pilot was "carried off" to perform his services. In later years, these provisions were incorporated into the Merchant Shipping Act, and later into the successive Pilotage Acts. Since 1808, this white-over-red flag has thus been the Pilot Distinguishing Flag for Britain, and due to accession, for many Commonwealth nations as well. Many European nations copied the British practice, too, because it was widely understood. The Pilot Distinguishing Flag has been part of British law since 1808. No exceptions. (The flags used by ships to summon pilots have changed, however.) And in a fair number of nations, the simple white-over-red is the "Pilot Flag" also.

The International Code of Signals (to which Britain subscribes) provides that code flag "H" means "I am carrying a pilot" --but this provision speaks to ships under pilotage, not really to pilot boats offering their services and certainly not to pilothouses where the pilots await their jobs. The International Code Flag "H" --which is divided vertically white/red -- first appeared in Marryat's Code of 1817, and was later incorporated into the successive International Signal Codes. The use of this red-and-white "H" flag to convey a pilot-related message clearly stems from the practice started in 1808. Also, under the COLREGS, the lights displayed by a pilot boat at night are white over red; "White over red; pilot ahead!"

Allan Wareing
28th February 2010, 13:13
No this is Flag Hotel as its always been. The Pilot flag you refer to was that flown by pilot boats.

Lancastrian, from another Lancastrian,thanks.
Allan.

trotterdotpom
28th February 2010, 13:20
Arrived Jakarta with no Indonesian flag once. A spare H flag was hoisted up on its side (red at top, white below) and probably saved about 50 cases of whisky.

John T.

Dickyboy
1st March 2010, 02:19
Wot's the flag for LEFO then ?? :)

I think the practice you allude to was mainly a passo ship departure from the UK sort of thing... same folks who ...when asked 'what ship, where bound?' on the lamp ...would just send 'Cape Mail' and then get back to the more important watchkeeping issues such as sending the bridge boy down to get them some scampi for their supper.

Off topic... I have some discharges which are neither FGN or HT but are stamped 'Cape Mail"....... I kid you not....
I also have ''Cape Mail'' discharges in my DB. 3 trips in the Capetown Castle in 1965. It was probably on her and other passenger ships that I saw the flag of the destination country flown. Being a Deckboy on the Capetown Castle it was part of my, among others, duties to run up the flags in port.

PS The ''LEFO'' flag was a big yellow Smilie on a red background. :o
LEFO wasn't always good news though, especially if (Say) one was only a few days away from pay off day, and up the Gulf. One faced a trip around the Cape before being relieved. Nothing worse than passing RAK knowing that had it been a week later one would have been paying off there. Happy Days though.

stevie-w
5th March 2010, 22:18
Which is where the Courtesy flag should be.

I always thought that the order of preference for flags was starboard outer/port outer/starboard inner/port inner- hence on most BP ships the house flag always went for'd and the courtesy flag always went SO

joebuckham
5th March 2010, 22:57
I always thought that the order of preference for flags was starboard outer/port outer/starboard inner/port inner- hence on most BP ships the house flag always went for'd and the courtesy flag always went SO

on every i sailed on the house flag was flown on the mainmast and the boatswains manual states "that its proper place is the mainmast"(Thumb)

exception some tankers who used the christmas tree for everything, especially if there was only a yardless, lower, foremast only and no mainmast

stevie-w
5th March 2010, 23:29
the almost unique thing about tankers was that you had four halyards to fly the courtesy ensign/Q/H/B, so invariably the house ensign was flown from the foremast..........

Chris Isaac
6th March 2010, 09:11
Wot's the flag for LEFO then ?? :)

I think the practice you allude to was mainly a passo ship departure from the UK sort of thing... same folks who ...when asked 'what ship, where bound?' on the lamp ...would just send 'Cape Mail' and then get back to the more important watchkeeping issues such as sending the bridge boy down to get them some scampi for their supper.

Off topic... I have some discharges which are neither FGN or HT but are stamped 'Cape Mail"....... I kid you not....

Not quite right but nearly, a cadet would send the message while the OOW would despatch bridge boy to the kitchens for little morsals from 1st Class.
I dont think we were ever rude enough just to send "Cape Mail" sometimes we would prefix that with the ship's name and if you were close enough we would turn on the funnel lights and ship's name illumination. It was all go on those ships!
The discharge book was always stamped "Cape Mail".

Lancastrian
6th March 2010, 09:32
I always thought that the order of preference for flags was starboard outer/port outer/starboard inner/port inner- hence on most BP ships the house flag always went for'd and the courtesy flag always went SO

The order you quote sounds like that for reading signal flags. Courtesy flags should be on the foremast if you have one. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Courtesy_flag
Starboard outer is acceptable for single masted yachts.
See also Boatswain's Manual page 209. House flags belong on the mainmast.
The book also mentions the practice of flying a "destination" flag on departure, also from the foremast.

sidsal
6th March 2010, 11:57
Brocklebank ships flew their house flag on the foremast. From memory this priviledge was granted by Queen Anne who gave them "letters of Marque" granting them the right to privateer.

Lancastrian
6th March 2010, 12:28
It seems to have been the owner Thomas Brocklebank's idea, long after Queen Anne.
http://www.nmm.ac.uk/collections/explore/object.cfm?ID=AAA0179