The identity signal of the station(s) addressed is
hoisted with the signal. If no identity signal is hoisted,
it will be understood that the signal is addressed to all
stations within visual signaling distance. If it is not
possible to determine the identity signal of the station
that it is desired to call, the transmitting station should
hoist the group:
VFYou should hoist your identity signal.
CSWhat is the name or identity signal of your
vessel (or station)?
At the same time, the transmitting station will hoist its
own identity signal.
YQI wish to communicate by.. . (Complements
table 1, chapter 2) with vessel bearing.. . from me
can also be used.
All stations to which signals are addressed will
hoist the answering pennant at the dip as soon as they
see each hoist (the dip is defined as being one-half the
full extent of the halyard). Close up immediately when
the signal is understood (closed up is the full extent of
the halyard). The answering pennant is returned to the
dip as soon as the hoist is hauled down by the
How to Complete a Signal
The transmitting station hoists the answering
pennant singly after the last hoist of the signal, to
indicate that the signal is completed. The receiving
station will answer this in the same manner as for any
other signal. When the transmitting station hauls down
the answering pennant, the receiving station will haul
down its answering pennant at the same time.
How to Act When Signals Are
You cannot question the meaning of a hoist by
displaying the INTERROGATIVE pennant used in
naval procedure. If the receiving station cannot clearly
distinguish or understand the signal, it keeps the
answering pennant at the dip and hoists one of the
ZK"I cannot distinguish your signal."
ZQ"Your signal appears incorrectly coded. You
should check and repeat the whole."
ZL"Your signal has been received but not
If the originating ship hoists a wrong signal group,
it cannot cancel it with the NEGAT pennant. Although
international procedure does not provide for special
pennants, it does have signal groups that fulfill the
same purpose. In this case, for example, the
originating ship would hoist the signal group
YNCancel my last signal/message or
ZPMy last signal was incorrect. I will repeat it
The basic reason for using substitutes in
international signaling is the same as in naval
procedure: a signal flag can be repeated one or more
times in the same group, while the ship may carry only
one or two sets of flags. Without substitutes, for
instance, it is obvious that such a group as AAA or 1000
can be made only if three sets of signal flags are
available. By using up to three substitutes, any two-,
three-, or four-letter group can be hoisted with only
one set of flags.
The FIRST SUBSTITUTE always repeats the
uppermost signal flag of that class of flags that
immediately precedes the substitute.
The SECOND SUBSTITUTE always repeats the
second signal flag and the THIRD SUBSTITUTE
repeats the third signal flag, counting from the top of
that class of flags that immediately precedes them. No
substitute can ever be used more than once in the same
There is an important difference between the use
of substitutes in naval and international procedures.
As you learned in chapter 5, in naval procedure a
substitute repeats ANY flag or pennant that precedes
it on the base hoist. In international signaling, a
substitute repeats only a flag or pennant of the same
class (that is, alphabet or numeral) immediately
preceding it. The signal VV, for example, would be
made as follows:
The number 1100 would be made by numeral
pennants as follows: