Flying the flag: Decoding sailings secret symbols

Author : spandau1912
Publish Date : 2021-03-31


Flying the flag: Decoding sailings secret symbols

From delicate silk 19th-century Chinese flags to bold Nazi Germany prints, the extensive collection of fabrics is an intriguing porthole into another time.

'Flags are symbols -- of national identity, affiliation, pride, and even submission. After all, when a ship surrendered it raised a white flag,' James Davey, the museum's curator of naval history, told CNN.

READ MORE: The real-life 'Moscow Merman'



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These vivid fabrics have also left their mark on the English language.

'During wartime it was common practice to hoist the flag of the enemy, only to run up your own colors just before firing,' Davey says.

'The common phrase 'to show one's true colors' derives from this activity.'

READ MORE: Step inside the 'ghost fleet' graveyard

With the rise of high-tech communication systems, ships today are not so reliant on such a messaging system.

But one thing hasn't changed -- flying a flag embodies the nationality, ownership, and unique character of every vessel.

We asked museum curators for a sneak peek at 10 of their most fascinating flags.

Scroll through the gallery above to unlock their secret symbolism -- and tell us your favorite on CNN Sport's Facebook page

Like this story? Get more nautical news at cnn.com/sailing

From delicate silk 19th-century Chinese flags to bold Nazi Germany prints, the extensive collection of fabrics is an intriguing porthole into another time. READ MORE: The real-life 'Moscow Merman' We asked museum curators for a sneak peek at 10 of their most fascinating flags. Like this story? Get more nautical news at cnn.com/sailing With the rise of high-tech communication systems, ships today are not so reliant on such a messaging system. READ MORE: The real-life 'Moscow Merman' But one thing hasn't changed -- flying a flag embodies the nationality, ownership, and unique character of every vessel. READ MORE: The real-life 'Moscow Merman' But one thing hasn't changed -- flying a flag embodies the nationality, ownership, and unique character of every vessel. These vivid fabrics have also left their mark on the English language. But one thing hasn't changed -- flying a flag embodies the nationality, ownership, and unique character of every vessel. Like this story? Get more nautical news at cnn.com/sailing From delicate silk 19th-century Chinese flags to bold Nazi Germany prints, the extensive collection of fabrics is an intriguing porthole into another time. READ MORE: The real-life 'Moscow Merman' 'During wartime it was common practice to hoist the flag of the enemy, only to run up your own colors just before firing,' Davey says. These vivid fabrics have also left their mark on the English language. With the rise of high-tech communication systems, ships today are not so reliant on such a messaging system. READ MORE: Step inside the 'ghost fleet' graveyard We asked museum curators for a sneak peek at 10 of their most fascinating flags. 'During wartime it was common practice to hoist the flag of the enemy, only to run up your own colors just before firing,' Davey says. Scroll through the gallery above to unlock their secret symbolism -- and tell us your favorite on CNN Sport's Facebook page Scroll through the gallery above to unlock their secret symbolism -- and tell us your favorite on CNN Sport's Facebook page With the rise of high-tech communication systems, ships today are not so reliant on such a messaging system. 'Flags are symbols -- of national identity, affiliation, pride, and even submission. After all, when a ship surrendered it raised a white flag,' James Davey, the museum's curator of naval history, told CNN. READ MORE: Step inside the 'ghost fleet' graveyard We asked museum curators for a sneak peek at 10 of their most fascinating flags. 'The common phrase 'to show one's true colors' derives from this activity.' From delicate silk 19th-century Chinese flags to bold Nazi Germany prints, the extensive collection of fabrics is an intriguing porthole into another time. Scroll through the gallery above to unlock their secret symbolism -- and tell us your favorite on CNN Sport's Facebook page From delicate silk 19th-century Chinese flags to bold Nazi Germany prints, the extensive collection of fabrics is an intriguing porthole into another time. 'The common phrase 'to show one's true colors' derives from this activity.' With the rise of high-tech communication systems, ships today are not so reliant on such a messaging system. With the rise of high-tech communication systems, ships today are not so reliant on such a messaging system. These vivid fabrics have also left their mark on the English language. Like this story? Get more nautical news at cnn.com/sailing Like this story? Get more nautical news at cnn.com/sailing Scroll through the gallery above to unlock their secret symbolism -- and tell us your favorite on CNN Sport's Facebook page 'The common phrase 'to show one's true colors' derives from this activity.' But one thing hasn't changed -- flying a flag embodies the nationality, ownership, and unique character of every vessel. With the rise of high-tech communication systems, ships today are not so reliant on such a messaging system. But one thing hasn't changed -- flying a flag embodies the nationality, ownership, and unique character of every vessel.

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