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Reynold naval signal code

Last modified: 2013-04-11 by rob raeside
Keywords: signal flags: reynold de chauvancy |
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Charles Reynold de Chauvancy drafted a code named Télégraphie Nautique Polyglotte (Polyglot Nautical Telegraphy) in 1855 which was made compulsory for the French military and merchant marine the same year.

This code was based on combination of unicolor flags, balls and pennants to replace the typical flags used at this time. These flags were difficult to see without a wind causing frequent errors because colours when seen from afar created confusion.

This code did not succeed in international usage and it was abandoned in 1864 in favor of the Commercial Code of Signals. In looking in his book of 1855, I found a chart presenting the telegraphic signals used in France at this time.

Reynold flag 6 Reynold flag 6 Reynold flag 6 Reynold flag 6
From left: Reynold signal flags 6, 7, 8, 9
images contributed by Dominique Cureau, 15 August 2006

Flags are equivalent to Marryatt's code presented at except signal 6 which is blue, yellow, red.

The signals 7 and 9 don't seem rectangular but narrow towards the fly. Signal 8 seems to be rectangular.
Dominique Cureau, 15 August 2006

I've found the French edition and the English translation of Reynold's naval code on Google Books:

More about it here:

I should point that, according to the Navigation Rules for Merchant Ships of Romania from 9 August 1862, these ships were to use Reynold's signal code (mostlikely the French version).
Alex Danes, 14 May 2010