Do you remember when letter writing was frequent practice and when we had to be in the house to use a telephone, or in a box with windows on a street corner? How communication has changed!
Over time, special ways of communication have been invented to communicate over long distances, like Morse Code (1844). Since then, there have been many codes developed, the binary code, the bar code, the genetic code, all of which are used in everyday life and communication.
So, we should not be surprised to discover that there was a method of communicating ship to ship in the middle of the ocean. Specific flags were used for this purpose at the beginning of the 1800s but developed and adopted as The International Code of Signals around the middle of the 19th century.
Each flag is an individual letter or a whole message in itself and they were strung together to communicate with other ships in the ocean. When at anchor, ships could be dressed in an agreed pattern, like in the postcard above, but not generally with a message as this one has (can you work it out?).
We thought it would be fun to exercise a bit of ‘creative licence’ with this and use this Nautic’hull Alphabet to communicate across Hull for a while to create some messages for people to work out. It could be your street name, like this one – or the name of the place where you live, or your own name to wear as a badge, or on your door. It could be the name of your school, or a message to people passing by, the possibilities are endless. It would be fun to cover Hull in the Nautic’hull Alphabet don’t you think?
There are only five colours, red, white, blue, black and yellow and three patterns, solid colour, stripes and square (and I with a random dot in the centre!) and they all match with the phonetic alphabet from alpha through to zulu too. It’s easy if you’re called Ann but takes a bit more work if you’re Christopher!
It’s always good if you can sign up to the project so we know you are taking part – you can do this on the facebook group #wemadethishull – work in progress or on the facebook page #wemadethishull or let us know by email email@example.com (or by Janet or Jane’s email address if you have it already) or on twitter @wemadethishull .
This project will run from January 31st – March 18th – display them when they are ready!
These can be as big or as small as you like, just make/draw your flags, string them together and then display them.
Let us know where they are and take a pic of them for us so that if people cannot get out, they can have fun decoding them from a photo gallery. If funding allows, we will gather them all together and exhibit them so they get a wider audience to join in the fun too. Watch out for #wemadethishull flying the flag at Maker Days too!