“It is the East, and Juliet is…the Letter J.”

I’ve mentioned before that I really love the many meanings of nautical signal flags. Once you catch on, some combinations that were probably meant to be randomly decorative become really funny. For example, the combination Mike-Golf-Victor, or “MGV,” means “Patient has foreign body in the nose.” If your initials are MGV, it might be helpful to know that before using nautical flags as your monogram.

The idea for this R+J bag, though, simply came from the idea that Romeo+Juliet would make a cute combination. The red side is the “Romeo,” flag, which can be interpreted as simply the letter R, or if at sea, “Preparing to Replenish.” The blue and white “Juliet” flag, or letter J, means “I am on fire and have dangerous cargo; keep clear.” Looks like Juliet is running away from Romeo!

I thought I’d better look up the meanings of R & J together, and this is what I found: According to the International Code of Signals, R+J means “You should keep your engines ready,” whereas J+R means “I expect to refloat,” that is, after having run aground. So, nothing too embarrassing if you happen to carry this handbag in the presence of a medical officer who happens to be well-versed in the International Code.

As a practical matter, there are SO MANY combinations of signals that mean so many things, especially the very specific medical emergency code; it is unlikely that anyone has actually memorized the entire thing. Unlikely, but not impossible!

If you’d like to order your own custom bag, contact me through my Etsy shop: http://www.thelandlockedsailor.etsy.com or the big red Etsy button at the bottom of this page.

Whadd’ya think?

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3 Responses to ““It is the East, and Juliet is…the Letter J.””


  1. 1 Lindsey February 13, 2010 at 3:59 am

    SO cute. And I love the info behind it! “I expect to refloat” would make an excellent personal motto. Hmmm… and so could “Keep your engines ready”!

  2. 2 SweetWaterPurl March 30, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    very beautiful and creative…Peace


  1. 1 uberVU - social comments Trackback on February 12, 2010 at 9:02 pm

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