If a junior commanding officer requests permission
to proceed on duties assigned by signaling BH
TACK the signal, his/her superior would reply C,
signifying Permission granted to proceed on duties
When the governing group applies to two or more
signals following it, BX is inserted after the last of the
signals to which it is to apply.
Call Signs, Sequence Numbers,
and Unit Indicators
Call signs, address groups, and sequence numbers
may be used in conjunction with groups from ATP 1,
volume II to complete, amplify, or vary the meaning
of the signal. Generally, call signs used to indicate
ships, units, or commanders referred to in the meaning
of the signal, follow the entire signal. An exception is
those signals indicating bearing and distance from a
unit, where the call sign appears within the signal.
A unit indicator (GROUP/FLOT, SQUAD, DIV,
SUBDIV) following a signal indicates the unit
carrying out the meaning of the signal.
A description signal, used to supplement a signal
group, normally describes own or enemy forces or
conveys other information. A description signal
consists of DESIG, followed by numerals, letters, or
groups necessary to amplify the meaning of the signal.
For example, a flaghoist reporting the sighting of
enemy forces might be supplemented by DESIG 2C,
which would indicate the forces were composed of
two light cruisers.
When appropriate, DESIG followed by letters
and/or numerals indicates that such a group is to be
interpreted literally. DESIG is to immediately precede
the group to be interpreted, and only that group. When
more than one group is to be governed, DESIG
separated by TACK will govern those groups.
Exceptions are when a plain number must be used to
complete the meaning of a signal or when used in the
meaning of a signal.
Words may be spelled out within the text of a
signal to complete or modify the meaning. For
example, to spell out the word yes, the hoist would be
Because spelling out words requires a number of
flags, plain text is never used in flaghoist signals when
the same information can be conveyed by code.
The Q and Z communication operating signals
contained in ACP 131 may be used alone or to
supplement groups in ATP 1, volume II.
International Code of Signals
Signals contained in International Code of
Signals, Pub 102, may be used alone or in conjunction
with signal groups from ATP 1, volume II. Whenever
international groups are used alone in flaghoist,
international procedure is to be used in answering.
Whenever military use is made of International Code
of Signals, groups will be preceded by CODE when
transmitting by flaghoist, or by INTERCO by Morse,
voice, or semaphore.
When communicating with non-military ships or
station or non-Allied warships, refer to International
Code of Signals.
The supplementary tables are located in chapter
33 of ATP 1, volume II. These tables are primarily
intended to expand the meaning of certain basic
groups, but they can be used with any signal within
the volume. When adding an item from the
supplementary tables to the basic group, the table
identifying letter must follow the item number. When
a signal from the supplementary tables is used by
itself, it will be preceded by the governing group BV
except for the supplementary table X, where it may be
preceded by the second substitute. Numeral flags 1
through 9 are not to be used with the supplementary
BASIC MANEUVERING FLAGS
Navy signal flags and pennants include six that
pertain directly to maneuvering: CORPEN,
FORMATION, SPEED, STATION, SCREEN, and