Flags have been used for signaling people at a distance. This form of communication was used by the Romans! And still used today!

English Semaphore

Flag Signals for Letters in English

"Flag semaphore is the telegraphy system conveying information at a distance by means of visual signals with hand-held flags, rods, disks, paddles, or occasionally bare or gloved hands. Information is encoded by the position of the flags; it is read when the flag is in a fixed position. Semaphores were adopted and widely used (with hand-held flags replacing the mechanical arms of shutter semaphores) in the maritime world in the 19th century."

or Japanese Semaphore:

Japanese semaphore

This is the combination used for オ ("O")



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Source: Semaphore

Last updated: April 1, 2014