Nautical Alphabet

Alphabets come in many varying forms depending on the way you are transmitting the information.

When using radion transmissions you will use the phonetic alphabet, which you will find on ths page.

You will also be shown the numerous flags that you will need to know.

All of these things will be shown on this page in visual form.

They are for revision purposes.

There are printable downloads available at the end of each section, for you to print or save to your desktop.

These will aid your revision for the Self Test Area.


The phonetic alphabet should be used for radio transmissions in plan language or in code.

If you need to spell out a word you should say "I spell" after pronouncing the work and then spell it using the phonetic alphabet.

Double digits should be transmitted digit by digit.

Letter Value Letter Value Letter Value Letter Value Number Value
A Alpha H Hotel O Oscar V Victor 1 wun
B Bravo I India P Papa W Whiskey 2 too
C Charlie J Juliet Q Quebec X X-ray 3 tree
D Delta K Kilo R Romeo Y Yankee 4 fow er
E Echo L Lima S Sierra Z Zulu 5 fife
F Foxtrot M Mike T Tango     6 six
G Golf N November U Uniform     7 seven


Flag Image Descriptions Flag Image Descriptions
A (Alpha) flag diver below (when stationary);
I am undergoing a speed trial
B (Bravo) flag I am taking on or discharging explosives
C (Charlie) flag Affirmative D (Delta) flag keep clear of me,
I am maneuvering with difficulty
E (Echo) flag I am altering my course to starboard F (Foxtrot) flag I am disabled,
communicate with me
G (Golf) flag I require a pilot H (Hotel) flag I have a pilot on board
I (India) flag I am altering my course to port J (Juliet) flag I am going to send a message by semaphore
K (Kilo) flag you should stop your vessel instantly L (Lima) flag you should stop, I have something important to communicate
M (Mike) flag I have a doctor on board N (November) flag no (negative)
O (Oscar) flag man overboard P (Papa) flag all aboard, vessel is about to proceed sea.
(at sea) your lights are out or burning badly
Q (Quebec) flag my vessel is healthy and I request free practique R (Romeo) flag the way is off my ship. You may feel you way past me
S (Sierra) flag my engines are going full speed astern T (Tango) flag do not pass ahead of me
U (Uniform) flag you are standing into danger V (Victor) flag require assistance, (not in distress)
W (Whiskey) flag I require medical assistance X (X-ray) flag stop carrying out your intentions and watch for my signals
Y (Yankee) flag I am carrying mail / Dragging Anchor Z (Zulu) flag to be used to address or call shore stations
Repeater 1 flag The first repeater repeats the upper flag or pennant of a hoist. Repeater 2 flag the second repeater repeats the second flag or pennant
Repeater 3 flag the third repeater repeats the third flag or pennant and so on...      

Number Pennants

Pennant Image Descriptions Pennant Image Descriptions
1 flag 2 flag 3 flag
4 flag 5 flag 6 flag
7 flag 8 flag 9 flag
0 flag