Friday, March 13, 2020


My sister just returned from Italy late Wednesday and she told me she's in quarantine along with her husband. I wonder if they kicked boy out of the house and told him to stay elsewhere for a couple of weeks. She didn't send him over here, that I know of. When she mentioned quarantine I had a flashback to my youth when I would read the books by Howard Pease and other nautical writers about the maritime life back before the War. Back then a ship entering harbor would fly this flag if they had some communicable disease onboard.

In the international signal flag bag this is the letter Q. Nowadays a ship entering port and declaring it has NO communicable diseases and requesting free pratique flies this flag. In other words, the original meaning has been stood on its head.

Nowadays if a ship wants to declare that it has a disease onboard it flies this flag.

This is the letter L in the flag bag. I have no idea why they decided to use this instead of the original quarantine flag but there you have it. So, if you have the corona virus help out your neighbors and those nice people from the Jehovah's Witnesses who like to knock on your door and earbash you and fly your quarantine flag. Or, you know, print out the L flag and tape it to your door. I assure you everyone who sees it will be mystified.

1 comment:

capt fast said...

rest assured that posting a L flag on the front door won't even slow down the minions of the census who come calling to pigeon hole you into their preconceived ideal of our society. my neighbor has mailed her form back with which she listed all the dogs and cats she cares for as she states that they all identify as humans. why not.