"Flags at Sea" (used book)

"Flags at Sea" (used book)

Regular price $10.00 Sale

Flags at Sea

by Timothy Wilson


About the book

Used book. Paperback. Good condition.


Why does the Royal Navy use the white ensign? What is the truth about the “Jolly Roger”? How did the signalman hoist Nelson’s ‘England expects’ signal at Trafalgar, and was it what Nelson originally wanted to say? What flags would have been used on the Mayflower? What was the ‘Bloody Flag’?

The history of sea flags is complex and full of intriguing questions and curious myths. This fascinating book is an authoritative study of the flags used in the last five centuries by the navies and merchant ships of Britain and of the nations whose maritime history is closely linked with hers – Spain, the Netherlands, France and the USA. It describes the flags used by ships at particular periods, and explains how political change and developments in ship technology and naval tactics were reflected by changes in flags. The book contains a great deal of material never previously published, and draws on new research to provide a detailed guide to the flags of the ‘age of sail’. As well as descriptions of the origins and types of flags used by each nation, there are illuminating chapters on the manufacture of sea flags and on the intricacies of signalling.

Flags at Sea is profusely illustrated with material from the unrivalled collections of the National Maritime Museum. Timothy Wilson worked there until 1979 and is now an Assistant Keeper in the Department of Medieval and Later Antiquities at the British Museum.

The front cover shows the Royal Prince from Royal Visit to the Fleet, 1672 by Willem van de Velde the Younger. On this cover are three mid-19th century Chinese flags of painted silk, from the National Maritime Museum’s collection.