Friday, May 25, 2012

Signal Masts

The Citadel, Halifax, NS

These masts look like they should be on a sailing ship rather than a part of fort.  I wondered what possible role they could play here, since it was pretty obvious to me that this fort was not going to sail away.  It turns out these are signal masts and served as a method of communication from this fort to other forts and the ships in the harbor.  By hoisting various signal flags on these masts, messages could be sent to anyone who could understand the code and could see the signal flags.  It was a pretty effective means of communication long before the telegraph, telephone, radio and the internet. 


  1. Interesting that these masts should have all their rigging intact. Bet it has been a century since the last message was hoisted here.

  2. I'm know they do re-enactments here during the summer months. In fact, while we were walking around, there appeared to be rehearsals of some sorts going on. At least there were men in period dress doing drills on the parade grounds. So, I would think some signal flags have been hoisted on these masts recently. I'll have to go back in during the summer months to find out.