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Port Royal» Forums » General

Subject: Flags rss

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Fenton Barnes
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Port Royal is a really great game but I wish Klemens Franz, the illustrator, had looked a little closer at pictures of sailing ships before did his artwork. All the flags on the tops of the ships are pointing backwards! Like pennants on a car traveling at speed. However, the wind that fills the sails should push the flags forwards in the direction of travel not backwards. No big deal really. I like the artwork. It's light and friendly.
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Wolfram Troeder
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Boardgaming is not a matter of life or death...
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Good catch, it's the small things that discern between journeyman and master.

"Diz ſagent uns die wîſen, ein nagel behalt ein îſen, ein îſen ein ros, ein ros ein man, ein man ein burc, der ſtrîten kan"
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Fenton Barnes
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Thanks Wolfram! It has been said that sometimes I am unable to see the wood/forest because I'm looking at the trees.
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Andre Bronswijk
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Interesting question. Are you sure? When searching for pictures of sailing ships at Google, I do find only pictures with flags pointing backwards, similar to the illustrations at Port Royal. For example this one:
http://www.esys.org/bigship/Europa_Unter_Segel_(wiki)-hq.jpg
... and a lot more ...
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Brad103
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Pirate Flags, like Superhero Capes, must always be flowing behind it's owner, regardless of wind direction.
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Kevin B. Smith
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Thygra wrote:

Interesting. That looks like an optical illusion of sorts. I'm guessing the ship is actually sailing mostly into the wind. I'm not an expert on sailing, but I do agree with the premise that flags will fly in the direction the wind is going, and when under sail, a ship will never travel faster than the wind.

The ship might be coming toward the camera at maybe a 20 degree angle, and that the wind is blowing left-to-right but at maybe a 45 degree angle off the ship's right bow (front). The sails are rotated on the masts to be facing us, rather than facing forward.

So the flags are actually flying toward us somewhat. And the sails of the ship are barely picking up that wind at a sharp angle, but thanks to the magic of sails, the ship is heading into the wind, resulting in the flags pointing toward the back of the ship.

Perhaps the same effect is happening on the cards.
 
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Fenton Barnes
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Well it's true the wind can blow the flags in any direction but I'd say the ship in that image is tacking across the wind at a low angle. The sails on the ships on the cards don't look like they are tacking though. You might get away with saying it of the Pinnace maybe.

I think it's my curse to notice these small things. :-)
 
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James Clarke
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Highland Cow wrote:

Yup, another one where the wind is blowing right-to-left while the ship travels left-to-right.

Having looked at a bunch more photos and painting of sailing ships with sails, I conclude that:

1. There seems to be a tradition going back to at least the 1800's of painting the flags pointing backward.

2. In photos, the flags very often appear to be pointed toward the back of the ship. I think that's because ships so often sail roughly into the wind, combined with it looking aesthetically better so those photos are more likely to be published, combined with flags often disappearing if they are flying at a 90-degree angle to the camera.

So between the optical illusion and the apparent traditions of paintings, I'm inclined to think that the artist made the right choice here.
 
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Fenton Barnes
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Yeah, I think you're right aesthetics plays a big part in both in art portrayal and photo choice. My sailing buddies and myself would be biased the other way on logic grounds and indeed have found a number of examples. But it's no big deal. It's a great game and we love it!

https://i.imgur.com/nnS8n8G.jpg
 
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