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Obscure Visual Communication Standard


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I thought you all might like this. It's called Semaphore. You use two small flags, one in each hand, and you position them in different configurations in order to communicate the English alphabet. I think you might have to spell the numbers out as in 5 would be "five' instead of '5', which seems a little strange to me, considering all the time you could potentially save. I think I will learn this language for fun!

http://www.wxs.ca/applets/semaphore/

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I believe it's still used in some Navies to signal ships that don't have radios.

If that's true its gotta be the smallest boats in the smallest Navies! I can't imagine how a Navy without radios could be effective at any operation.

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Not really obscure. We had to learn it in the scouts.

I should have said "Obscure relative to most other communications languages/protocols". The odds of two people being able to use this to communicate across a distance greater than yelling distance without prior rehearsal (as in two Scouts taking a test for a Badge) has to be pretty low right?

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If that's true its gotta be the smallest boats in the smallest Navies! I can't imagine how a Navy without radios could be effective at any operation.

Um, ever try to HEAR radio on an air craft carrier next to a jet? They use flags for signals to this day, because its visual cues as to whats happening in real time and at times, the noise levels can be deafening on deck. It might not be spelling out the alphabet so to speak, but flag signaling is used in a variety of situations, not just for when radio communication can't be used(since a man on deck trying to speak to the pilot would just get static and noise from the plane/feedback, its easier to "flag" them down).
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I thought you all might like this. It's called Semaphore. You use two small flags, one in each hand, and you position them in different configurations in order to communicate the English alphabet. I think you might have to spell the numbers out as in 5 would be "five' instead of '5', which seems a little strange to me, considering all the time you could potentially save. I think I will learn this language for fun!

http://www.wxs.ca/applets/semaphore/

I'd imagine they have signals for stuff like "stop" and "go" instead of spelling out each word. Seems pretty similar in concept to underwater hand signals used for diving. If you really wanted to you could spell out the alphabet, but no one does.

Rural mountain farmers also often use whistle codes to communicate over long distances where there is little/no visual contact. The high pitches can easily travel, like in canyons, valleys, etc. Pretty cool. Long shot from obscure though.

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If that's true its gotta be the smallest boats in the smallest Navies! I can't imagine how a Navy without radios could be effective at any operation.

Think of coast guards signaling to small fishing boats in countries where fishermen don't earn enough to afford fancy electric radios. It might be a foreign idea to those of us in wealthy first world countries, but it's a fact of life for millions of people around the world.
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If that's true its gotta be the smallest boats in the smallest Navies! I can't imagine how a Navy without radios could be effective at any operation.

Actually quite a lot of operations rely on radio silence, last thing you want when picking up or dropping off a team of special forces in a hostile area is your radio signals giving away your location.

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