Used for centuries as a means of communicating vital messages among ships traveling in international waters, maritime flags also send a crisp nautical signal in spring and summer home décor. Take this rare set from the 1960s, discovered in a submarine about a decade ago by a Georgia collector and sold exclusively at Room & Board. Although arranged here purely for aesthetics, each vibrant rectangle stands for both a letter and a coded message; the red, white, and blue flag on the bottom left, for example, represents the letter “W” and also translates to “I require medical assistance” when flown alone. Here’s an idea: Teach your kids the International Code of Signals, and they’ll never need to use emojis again.
Vintage nautical flags in wooden frames, $699 each, Room & Board.
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