United We Stand

Signal Flags of the Navy

Below are signal flags / pennants used by the U.S. Navy,
U.S. Coast Guard and some commercial ships.


Flag Name Navy Meaning International Meaning
Alpha I have a diver down.  Keep well clear at slow speed.
Bravo I am taking in, discharging or carrying dangerous cargo.
Charlie "Yes" or "Affirmative".
Delta I am maneuvering with difficulty.  Keep clear.
Echo I am directing my course to starboard.
Foxtrot I am disabled - Communicate with me.
- or -
On aircraft carriers it indicates flight operations are underway.
Golf I require a pilot.
Hotel I have a pilot on board.
India Coming alongside. I am directing my course to port.
Juliet I am on fire and have dangerous cargo.  Keep well clear.
Kilo I want to communicate with you.
Lima You need to stop immediately.
Mike I am completely stopped.  
November "No" or "Negative".
Oscar Man overboard
Papa All personal return to ship; preparing to go to sea.
(used while in port only)
Quebec Boat recall.  All boats return to ship. Ship meets healthy regulations. Requesting passage into port.
Romeo Preparing to replenish (at sea)
Ready duty ship (in port)
No meaning.
Sierra Conducting flag hoist drill. Moving astern.
Tango Do not pass ahead of me. Keep clear.  I'm engaged in trawling.
Uniform You are running into danger.
Victor I require assistance.
Whiskey I require medical assistance.
Xray Stop carrying out your intentions and watch for my signals.
Yankee Ship has visual communications duty. I am dragging anchor.
Zulu I require a tug.
One Numeral one. No meaning.
Two Numeral two. No meaning.
Three Numeral three. No meaning.
Four Numeral four. No meaning.
Five Numeral five No meaning.
Six Numeral six. No meaning.
Seven Numeral seven. No meaning.
Eight Numeral eight. No meaning.
Nine Numeral nine. No meaning.
Zero Numeral zero. No meaning.



Pennant Name Navy Meaning Intl Meaning
Code/Answer Flag that follows is from International Code of Signals. Message understood or Numeral decimal point.
First Substitute Absence of flag officer or unit commander (in port). Substitute for first flag in this hoist.
Second Substitute Absence of chief of staff (in port). Substitute for second flag in this hoist.
Third Substitute Absence of commanding officer (in port). Substitute for third flag in this hoist.
Fourth Substitute Absence of civil or military official whose flag is flying on this ship. Substitute for fourth flag in this hoist.
One Pennant one. Numeral one.
Two Pennant two. Numeral two.
Three Pennant three. Numeral three.
Four Pennant four. Numeral four.
Five Pennant five. Numeral five.
Six Pennant six. Numeral six.
Seven Pennant seven. Numeral seven.
Eight Pennant eight. Numeral eight.
Nine Pennant nine. Numeral nine.
Zero Pennant zero. Numeral zero.


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