International Code Flags

More about International Code of Signal Flags

International Code of Signals (ICS) Flags

Flags of All Nations manufactures International Code Flags and has the full range available online for you to choose from including the full range of Alphabetical and Numerical code flags.

These flags are a part of the International Code of Signals (ICS), which is an international system of signals and codes for use by vessels to communicate important messages regarding safety of maritime navigation and related matters. The pictured flags are the most recent version of maritime flag signalling systems.

The purpose of these flags is to provide ways and means of communication in situations related to navigation and persons, especially when language difficulties arise. This has been done by first establishing a standardised alphabet (and 10 digits) along with a spoken form of each letter and associating this alphabet with standardised flags.

These flags can be used to communicate with other vessels when radios and communications are down, or they may not know the call sign for another vessel, or a watch is not being maintained. There are particular flags in this range that can be used to communicate with another vessel in light of these conditions occurring.

Before 1969, the code flags were a lot more extensive and covered things like a list of 5-letter codes for the most popular maritime locations in the world and things like a much wider range of messages. This has been reduced in order to focus on navigation/safety and includes a medical section which is divided into 3 groups. Codes that begin with M, these are Medical code signals. There is also single letter codes which mean they are urgent or important which is then followed by 2 letter signals or codes which are for other messages, which can be sometimes followed by a numerical signal which either adds to or changes the message being sent.

The International Code of Signals is currently maintained by the International Maritime Organization, click here to visit their website and there is also in-depth explanation of the flags and their meanings online across a number of websites and resources, and in each of our listings is the general meaning of each flag.

These flags are fully sewn with the design appliqued on, and are 30" x 24" in size. We do also sell the full range of code flags in a complete set – these are online however you can contact us anytime if you have questions prior to ordering them.
Our flags are finished with a loop at the top and bottom of the flag, to be used with clips to attach and run up a flag pole. The flags are 100% Australian made and come in a fully sewn option, where the flag is made from woven polyester and the design is appliqued on. Alternatively, there is a printed option which is finished on knitted polyester. Clips are included with the flag for your convenience.

We can make flags to your specifications such as a custom design or vertical sleeve finish, please contact us for a quote.