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Greece: Private signal flags of a merchantman

Last modified: 2001-06-01 by ivan sache
Keywords: signal flags | signal code | saltire (red) | lozenge (blue) | lozenge (red) | alpha | beta | gamma | delta | epsilon | zeta | eta | theta |
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As an example of non-universal signalling system, Smith [1975c] reproduces (p. 87) the first page of the hand-written signal book of the Greek vessel Themistocles, showing eight signal flags and the Greek national flag.
The book is preserved in the Benaki Historical Museum in Athens.

The flags stand for the letters alpha, beta, gamma, delta, epsilon, zeta, eta, and theta, the eight first letters of the Greek alphabet.

There are additional captions on the page, but very difficult to read.

Ivan Sache, 10 August 2000


[Alpha]by Ivan Sache

A broad red saltire on a blue field.


[Beta]by Ivan Sache

A red diamond centered in a white field.


[Gamma]by Ivan Sache

Plain blue field.


[Delta]by Ivan Sache

Plain white field.


[Epsilon]by Ivan Sache

Plain red field.


[Zeta]by Ivan Sache

Chequy bue and white, 25 pieces.


[Eta]by Ivan Sache

A red field with a yellow rectangle in the middle.


[Theta]by Ivan Sache

A light blue field with a dark blue diamond touching the four edges of the flag.

It is my guess that the Theta flag is errourneously pictured. In my opinion, two shades of blue (for 'significant differentiation') are very young invention. I think that the present look of that page must be result of a correction. Indeed, it seems that traces of "correction" are visible on the reproduction.

Zeljko Heimer, 10 August 2000

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