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Flags, Ensigns, Banners

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admin    28,100

Hello everyone.

 

We need your help with increasing our flags, ensigns, and banners collection. 

If you encounter awesome examples of those please post them here. Would be also great to hear your thoughts on how and when those banners were really used (or currently used) in the Navy and by Traders.

 

Naval Action Team

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con20or    12

Are you looking for country flags?

 

Ships usually hoisted their true colours just before an engagement (probably where the phrase came from?) - although it was common practice to fly any colour you liked up until then as a 'ruse de guerre'.

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admin    28,100

Are you looking for country flags?

 

Ships usually hoisted their true colours just before an engagement (probably where the phrase came from?) - although it was common practice to fly any colour you liked up until then as a 'ruse de guerre'.

 

We have country flags and their variations for major nations. 

 

But if you encounter excellent looking ensigns, banners and signal flags that you want in game. Post them here. Within a week we will post ideas we have for them that you can feedback on. 

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Blackie    35

You haven't mentioned it so far, but do you intend to include independent pirates and pirate factions into the game? If not, I think it would add a great deal to the game's appeal, and after all pirates, privateers, and smugglers played important roles in the Age of Sail.

If you are interested I have uploaded a number of pirate flags used by real Caribbean pirates who where terrors of the high seas. Here's a link to my flag gallery.

 

 
Also, if players could create, customize, or upload their own flags, it would give players something that was very unique to identify their ships.  Being able to choose paint combinations for wooden ships and sails could also offer further customizations for players' creativity.   

post-51-0-74445500-1372675075_thumb.gif

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Harrow    0

Stumbled on this after a quick search: http://www.theflagshop.co.uk/historical-british-flags--ensigns-58-c.asp
There are many historical flags for various eras, etcetera. Whichever you need or might lack should be in there. I'll follow up with some pirate ones next.

 

Edit: Seems to only cover a few countries, though. I'll look some more.

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Digby    72

Are you looking for country flags?

 

Ships usually hoisted their true colours just before an engagement (probably where the phrase came from?) - although it was common practice to fly any colour you liked up until then as a 'ruse de guerre'.

Ships sailed under their national colours at all times. Nasty people like pirates usually used false colours as a trick of war (to hide) or to surprise a victim.

 

Are you looking for a way for players to communicate in-game by means of flags or just a library of suitable period ensigns?

 

Home Popham's is the most well known but is extremely late in the period, 1799:

 

http://3decks.pbworks.com/f/Admiral%2520Home%2520Popham%2520Telegraph%2520signal%2520book%2520Final%2520edition.pdf

 

There's even a fun online Popham encoder!

 

http://www.goblinrevolution.org/widgets/popham_encoder.cgi

 

Google-images for "eighteenth century naval flags" will get you lots of useful designs.

 

As to where on ships flags were flown, I'll have to think on that, but I could probably come up with some simple basic rules quite quick.

 

EDIT: Any use?

 

http://mysite.verizon.net/vzeohzt4/Seaflags/signals/Signals.html

 

http://www.flags.net/UNKG04.htm

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_national_flags

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Spanish_flags

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Russian_flags

 

http://www.nationalfcf.com/history/historicamericanflags/tabid/2192/default.aspx

 

http://www.flaginstitute.org/pdfs/Roberto%20Breschi.pdf

 

http://www.loeser.us/flags/revolution.html

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admin    28,100

Thanks Digby. this is very useful.

 

We have experimented with communicating with flags and they are not readable on medium or longer distances. And player is usually too busy with combat and mostly looks at enemies. 

 

we are currently thinking of giving ensigns and banners the following usage.

 

looking at the ship you will be able to tell

1) Nation or guild or corporation

2) Rank or Court title

3) Achievement flags (how good a player he or she is)

4) Special awards or recognition flags

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Digby    72

You could easily do that:

 

1) A national or clan flag at the sternpost

2) A commanders pennant at the main topmast indicating rank (capt, commodore, admiral, etc). Historically this is mostly accurate as admirals flagships flew a coloured pennant here indicating his rank.

3) A smaller pennant at the foretopmast with some kind of symbols on like lions, fleur de lys, skulls, etc with the number of them indicating rank.

4) Extra flags at the mizzentopmast for that, or smaller coloured flag at the flaghoist lines betwen the masts.

 

You could implement a commun ications method by flaghoists if the player had a "spyglass view" which fixed on the flag hoist. A simple "read signals from ship X" command would fix the zoomed in player's view on the signal flags for, say, 10 or 15 seconds and then the message those flags are sending is shown in a text window bottom of screen. It would certainly be something unique in a naval game.

 

Unfortunately clans and such will just use Teamspeak and talk to each other, there's no way round this I don't think so any historical in-game comms system would be purely for plaayer immersion. Unless you can force VOIP to not work or something.

 

Of course in MP fleet battles you could have an agreement not to speak over TS and all fleet signals be sent by flags. That would be truely awesome.

 

I'm also thinking flag hoists from forts and shore stations at harbours might be useful too. They could at least show which nation/clan owned the port and what the status of the senior player present was. Not having port or ship ownership marked in any way in the campaign map would oblige a clan or guild to send a small patrol vessel to a place to report back who owned it and what its strength was.

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Kala4    120

 

We have experimented with communicating with flags and they are not readable on medium or longer distances. And player is usually too busy with combat and mostly looks at enemies. 

 

we are currently thinking of giving ensigns and banners the following usage.

 

 

You could implement a commun ications method by flaghoists if the player had a "spyglass view" which fixed on the flag hoist. A simple "read signals from ship X" command would fix the zoomed in player's view on the signal flags for, say, 10 or 15 seconds and then the message those flags are sending is shown in a text window bottom of screen. It would certainly be something unique in a naval game.

 

Unfortunately clans and such will just use Teamspeak and talk to each other, there's no way round this I don't think so any historical in-game comms system would be purely for plaayer immersion. Unless you can force VOIP to not work or something.

 

it`s nice way to make signals more readable. mb make such a mini-window with spyglass default when another ship is selected\marked (both enemy & friendly one).

btw Teamspeak\etc won`t make enemy ships signals more clear (see additional info about it)/

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...You could implement a commun ications method by flaghoists if the player had a "spyglass view" which fixed on the flag hoist. A simple "read signals from ship X" command would fix the zoomed in player's view on the signal flags for, say, 10 or 15 seconds and then the message those flags are sending is shown in a text window bottom of screen. It would certainly be something unique in a naval game.

 

Unfortunately clans and such will just use Teamspeak and talk to each other, there's no way round this I don't think so any historical in-game comms system would be purely for plaayer immersion. Unless you can force VOIP to not work or something.

 

Of course in MP fleet battles you could have an agreement not to speak over TS and all fleet signals be sent by flags. That would be truely awesome...

 

It's an excellent idea, but it raises concerns (for me at least) about mass communication. How would the people of a 'nation' or 'clan' be able to communicate effectively with the rest of their peers when not in the same battle or same area? Chat systems? What would prevent the chat systems from being used in battle instead of signaling?

 

These are just my concerns... not trying to discredit your idea.

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Digby    72

I understand and most players will use a 3rd party voice comms utility like TS or Ventrilo anyway I would imagine.

 

With the spyglass/text pop-up window method to "read" a message, you could only read (decipher) messages flown from friendly ships. In effect each clan or guild or nationality (however it gets divided up) has their own signal book and only members of that group get the message's meaning in plain text when they use the spyglass view. The game could have an international signal book (aka 'common tongue' that everyone can read), then clan-specific flag codes.

It just strikes me that nothing whatever like this has ever been attempted in any naval game of any era, it would a great coup to be the first to have such a cool and fun feature I think.

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admin    28,100

It's an excellent idea, but it raises concerns (for me at least) about mass communication. How would the people of a 'nation' or 'clan' be able to communicate effectively with the rest of their peers when not in the same battle or same area? Chat systems? What would prevent the chat systems from being used in battle instead of signaling?

 

These are just my concerns... not trying to discredit your idea.

 

well. honestly we cannot see the game without a chat. it's a standard now. It is much faster, clearer and avoids confusion, All signal books will be posted on forums or wikis and will be available to everyone. Players not using chat and only signal flags will be at a disadvantage losing game to people who use TS or Ventrilo or even chat. And in this game organization and focus fire is key. 

 

POTBS had this problem. Organized and trained groups of 6 were pwning everything on the map, killing fun for all the rest. There is a famous pic that summarizes newbie POTBS experience.

KYucxdF.jpg

potbs bleed players because of that. Parties of newbies could not do ANYTHING against a trained group of people. 

WOT/WT for example do not have this problem, you always get something after the battle (even if you lose) and you always have a chance to hit and kill someone.

 

We don't like fake features and we believe that signal flags that give commands is a fake feature (unless you are sending a special message to an enemy team, or showing off). 

fake feature - feature that no one uses because there is something better or you can achieve the same result by other means.

 

for example - Oliphant Indiaman or Halifax Schooners in Potbs are fake ships. They were done, coded, integrated but noone uses them. 80% of ships in POTBS are fake features because noone sails them. In World of Tanks for example almost every tank is usable and can wreak havok with right usage. 

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Digby    72

Signal flags would not be a fake feature in a game with fleets and squadrons in battles fought between organised and mature groups. It would be easy to police as well. I am in a group right now that plays online Napoleonic battles where Teamspeak is available but we agree not to use voice comms and instead use in-game written messages sent by mounted couriers. It works brilliantly. I see signal hoists as a very similar feature; a slower, more anachoronistic but very immersive gameplay element that would not be used in the MMO game but in stand alone squadron/fleet battles between friends could be, and to great effect.

 

I can explain it but I guarantee it would work and so would be worthwhile thinking about including.

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slik    702

My opinion regarding signal flags:

  • Signals are based on signal books
  • Signal books can be randomly generated (or created by hands)
  • Signal book can be sent to clan/guild members, friends etc.
  • Typed text message translates into flag signal and appears on the ship
  • The game tries to translate the signal into text for all players who see the signal and have a "key" - signal book
  • The signal translates into text and appears in the chat, perhaps after pause in 1-10sec

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Barberouge    721

Weathered/tatttered flags would be great. PotBS used an excellent player-made flags and sail decals system.

 

Also the PotBS experience looked more like this:

 

post-301-0-11104300-1375279905_thumb.png

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Johny Reb    1,255

 

We don't like fake features and we believe that signal flags that give commands is a fake feature (unless you are sending a special message to an enemy team, or showing off). 

fake feature - feature that no one uses because there is something better or you can achieve the same result by other means.

 

for example - Oliphant Indiaman or Halifax Schooners in Potbs are fake ships. They were done, coded, integrated but noone uses them. 80% of ships in POTBS are fake features because noone sails them. In World of Tanks for example almost every tank is usable and can wreak havok with right usage. 

Because so many people will use TS over signal flags then I think your time is much better used getting the game out. After seeing your youtube shots I am that much more impatient to get my hands on it :P.

 

I don't think it would be a fake feature though, just a little used one. It would be used during fleet battles where some are not on comms. I've experienced this in potbs quite often. There is a female that plays from China but China blocks the use of TS type programs. She does her best but often disrupts the line. Its tough to fight and type out your instructions at the same time. Signal flags combined with the spyglass view(or something similar) would simplify communication and add another layer of skill that commanders could prosper using. A simple pullup menu with the signal flags shown and a couple clicks sends the message. But if you go this route make sure their is a flag for "prepare". I think that would be the most used.

 

Btw, I used the Oliphant in potbs. In fact I still do but only because I don't use my FT much and havn't bought a full line of lvl 50 ships.

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Johny Reb    1,255

 

My opinion regarding signal flags:

  • Signals are based on signal books
  • Signal books can be randomly generated (or created by hands)
  • Signal book can be sent to clan/guild members, friends etc.
  • Typed text message translates into flag signal and appears on the ship
  • The game tries to translate the signal into text for all players who see the signal and have a "key" - signal book
  • The signal translates into text and appears in the chat, perhaps after pause in 1-10sec

 

I think the signal books need to be standard. There will be to many societies to have individual signal books and you will rarely be fighting with only your soc mates if we are to use potbs as evidence. I think we need to avoid typed messages. Thats a pain in the butt in important pvp fights. Plus its more fun to learn to interpret the signals and adds a layer of skill to be learned.

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Barberouge    721

Here is the site I used for PotBS flags & sails: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Heraldry

 

heraldic flags http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Heraldic_flags

naval flags:http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Naval_flags

heraldic banners: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Heraldic_banners

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Banners_in_heraldry

ensigns: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Ensigns

 

 

 

escudo10.png

 

Free and Independent State of Cundinamarca, New Granada 1813

 

(first province to declare independence from Spain in 1811)

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tater    79

The idea that all ships flew national colors at all times is incorrect, I think. (I'm entirely open to being corrected if you can show me a source, I have not read anything specific about it at all one way or the other)

 

During wartime, or when piracy was a real issue, I'd expect that ships would fly no colors at all most of the time. When you first spot a sail, hull down on the horizon, you want to have options. Uncertainty increases those options. This is true of merchants, and warships. You could tell a lot about a ship by the look of her as you closed, and as an obvious warship, you could signal for some confirmation of friendly status (an enemy would not recognize the code). If you thought she was an enemy, and might escape, you might chose to fly her flag until you could work close enough that she could not escape. Many choices based on flags. 

 

I'm in the camp that would prefer imperfect "IFF" for everything, so the ability to chose the colors you fly would be interesting. It's like having to sort out neutral shipping as a submarine by having to actually ID the specific target ship.

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Brigand    762

There where rules concerning flags you could fly. A Navy ship had to fly its own colors. I've read some fiction that suggested otherwise, but I'm pretty sure this rule was followed.

 

Then privateers.. they where only allowed to fire under their Nation's colors, failing to do so (opening fire while flying false colors) was considered piracy. I'm not sure about all countries, but at least France, England, Spain and the Netherlands followed this rule. I've read about convictions for piracy with both the English and the Dutch (the latter case resulting in actual hanging) for captains that where proven to have attacked under false colors.

 

Then pirates... well, they did not recognize any country allowing to set rules for them, so they pretty much did as they liked.

 

The above could still lead to very unpredictable scenarios. I just read about the following encounter (1958/7 years war):

 

Three merchantmen get attacked by a large French privateer. One (the smallest) of the merchants manages to get away and runs in with an English privateer some time later. The English privateer promptly lays a course for the French ship and the English merchants which are by now presumed to have been taken.

The following morning, the privateer spots the two merchantmen, escorted by a ship flying His Majesty's colours. The privateer is not stupid and shows his majesties colours as well and chases the convoy. Upon coming in hailing distance, they hail the presumed French privateer in French, which is greeted by an intimidate full broadside from the His Majesty's Navy Ship, which encountered the merchantmen while under attack by a French privateer and came to their rescue.

 

Cheers,

Brigand

Edited by Brigand

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