flags and rapid access to them. It also keeps them clean
and, with the canvas cover in place during inclement
weather, dry. Flags should be washed in the ship's
laundry periodically. Only mild soap and warm water
(not hot) should be used for cleaning flags. Grease
spots can be removed with dry-cleaning solvents.
Damp or wet flags are mildew prone. When flags
are wet, dry them as soon as possible by hoisting them
on the signal halyards. This should not be done when
under way or when in high winds. Air bunting is an
excellent way to dry flags. This can be done on request
from the senior officer present.
REPAIR OF FLAGS
Although ships carry spare sets of flags,
Signalman strikers or third class petty officers may be
assigned to repair bunting. If a bunting space is
available, it will contain a sewing machine, bunting,
thread, tapes, and tabling material. If a bunting repair
space is not available, repairs may be done by using a
sewing machine located in the deck spaces. When
repairing flags, never mix materials. Wool and cotton
shrink differently, and combinations invariably
become misshapen after the first wetting. For correct
dimensions, refer to NTP 13, Flags, Pennants and
Signal halyards are made of either nylon or natural
color braided cotton line. The braided cotton line is no
longer used aboard ship, because it could not hold up
under the effects of ships' high speeds, stack
temperatures, and gases. Ashore, however, cotton
halyards are still used. Double-braided 1 l/8-inch
nylon rope is required by the Board of Inspection and
Survey (INSURV). Double-braided 1 l/2-inch nylon
rope is permitted alternately with twisted rope for
dressing lines. The twisted nylon and double-braided
nylon rope withstand the heat and gases much better
than braided cotton line.
Halyard blocks are single, roller-bushed sheave
blocks. They are attached by means of sister hooks to
U-bolts welded to the yardarms. Those attached to
stays and mastheads may be of other construction,
adapted to the construction of the stay or masthead.
CARE OF HALYARDS
When reeving halyards through signal halyard
blocks, always reeve forward to aft. Rings and snaps
on halyards are put on with a halyard eye splice.
Splicing double-braided nylon rope is explained and
illustrated in the following section.
At night and during inclement weather, ease off
the halyards to prevent unnecessary strain cased by
shrinkage. At other times, however, keep halyards
clear and taut to give the signal bridge a sharp
appearance. Periodically check the condition of the
halyards. Replace them before they become too worn.
SPLICING DOUBLE-BRAIDED LINE
When double-braided nylon line is being spliced,
the end must be worked into the center, and special
tools are needed for the job. For line 3 inches in
circumference or smaller, a fid and pusher are used.
For line larger than 3 inches in circumference, only a
wire fid is used. Steps 1, 2, and 3 in figure 2-22 show
how to secure the fid to the line. Stamped on each fid
is a number indicating the size of line for which the
fid was made. Fids also serve as rulers to measure with
while splicing is being done. The wire fid lengths in
figure 2-23 are in l/2 and l/3 scale. Friction or
masking tape and a soft lead pencil, crayon, or
preferably, a wax marking pencil are needed.
Sharp-pointed shears also are handy.
The splice described here, and the line on which
it is used, were developed by the Samson Cordage
Works of Boston, Massachusetts.
Figure 2-22.Fids used for splicing double-braided line.