A Nautical Garland Story


I found this pile of signal flags at a garage sale this weekend and I was so excited to see what they “spelled.”  I have made crafts with signal flags before and knew that each flag represented an alphabet letter.  I Googled “signal flag meanings” and put a sticky note with the corresponding letter on each flag to see if they spelled anything.  I came close…. if I only would have had the “E” flag!



I was one flag short of the word L-O-V-E!

I am always looking for an angle!!!!  Each flag also has a name.  My flag names were Oscar, Foxtrot, Victor, Delta, Tango, and Lima.  HA! I could tell a story with my signal flags:

Oscar and Victor went to Lima and danced the Foxtrot and Tango with some fine ladies by the Delta.  LOL.  Amusing…. but REALLY?  I wanted to make a garland using these flags and I hoped I could make the garland to “tell a story”.



Sometimes I am a little too whimsical for my own good.  Signal flags do represent letters and they each have a name but most importantly they have a distinct concept that they communicate when they are flown on a ship.  I was sobered by the serious meanings of each of my flags.



As I assembled the garland the messages of the signal flags I could imagine they were telling the story of a hardened heart turning to Jesus.

“You should stop your vessel immediately” “Keep Clear” , Keep clear of me, I’m maneuvering with difficulty”.  Sounds to me like folks that I have known who have put up so many walls.  They have hardened their hearts to others but most importantly to Jesus who loves them so much.

“I require assistance,”  “Man Overboard.” When folks finally reach the bottom and it dawns on them they can’t do life on their own.  They need assistance but who is going to rescue them?

Jesus is a gentleman, He is waiting for us to take the first step.  Maybe it is time for you or someone you know to raise the signal flag that says “I am disabled, communicate with me.”  If you do, Jesus will be right there!

When I glued the last flag to the blue and white bakers string the song, “Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me” started to play in my heart.  Jesus is my Pilot, along with the Holy Spirit they comfort, teach and yes, even pilot me!

Jesus, Savior, Pilot me

By John E Gould

Jesus, Savior, pilot me
Over life’s tempestuous sea;
Unknown waves before me roll,
Hiding rock and treacherous shoal.
Chart and compass come from Thee:
Savior, pilot me.

Though the sea be smooth and bright
Sparkling with the stars of night
and my ships path be ablaze
with the light of halcyon days
still I know my need of thee!
Savior, pilot me.

As a mother stills her child,
Thou canst hush the ocean wild;
Boisterous waves obey Thy will
When Thou say’st to them, “Be still!”
Wondrous Sovereign of the sea,
Savior, pilot me.

When at last I near the shore,
And the fearful breakers roar
‘Twixt me and the peaceful rest,
Then, while leaning on Thy breast,
May I hear Thee say to me,
“I will pilot thee.”

I love the message of my signal flag garland and if you feel tossed on the seas of life look up to Jesus and he will be so glad to PILOT YOU!

Hear the song!


  1. My father was in the navy for 2 years in the 1940’s between wars. He died suddenly at 46 (he was the art teacher). My mother had them use the Sailor’s Hymn- Eternal Father, Strong to Save- for his funeral. She said it was his favorite. I don’t know if my father ever took Jesus as his personal savior; he never went to church, but this hymn still touches my heart in a special place! I really like the hymn Jesus Savior, Pilot Me, tho it’s the first time I’ve heard it. Thanks for sharing Patty!

    Liked by 1 person

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