A flag or pennant from one of several different systems for signalling the
condition of a beach, the state of the ocean or weather at that particular point,
and/or to what degree bathing safety precautions are in place – a bathing or surfing
flag/pennant, a weather or weather-warning flag/pennant, a shark alert or alarm flag/pennant, a wind, windsurf or windsurfing danger
flag/pennant or similar - but see ‘blue flag’ (also
‘red flag 1)’ and
‘storm warning flag’).
An accurate but seldom used translation (balken meaning a “balk”, “bar” or “beam” of
wood) of the German term balkenkreuz - see ‘balkenkreuz’.
1) An expanding stripe (or stripes) which usually - but not exclusively - expand from a central point in order to represent
a shaft (or shafts) of light – rays – but see
(also ‘expanding stripe(s)’).
2) A term sometimes incorrectly used to describe a stripe (or stripes) in place of the heraldic equivalents – see
3) The term may also be used to describe a horizontal arm such as those seen on an anchor, cross or yard
(see also ‘cross 1)’ and
4) See ‘beamed’.
Flag of the Air Force, Russia (fotw);
Emblem and Flag of P’ing-tung, Taiwan (fotw)
A term sometimes incorrectly used in place of pointed - see ‘pointed’
(also ‘rays 1)’).
Please note, information suggests that
this term - a direct translation of the French "flamme de boeuf" - may have ceased after 1792,
however, this is not certain and no equivalent signal can be found in contemporary British naval
sources. Nonetheless supply vessels of the late 19th and early 20th Century which were carrying
foodstuffs to the Royal Navy are known to have flown a ’beef flag’.
An increasingly obsolete method of securing the halyard by means of
movable vertical pins (fitted into a frame or rack at the foot of the mast)
and now largely replaced by the cleat - a tack pin or jack pin (see also ‘cleat’