Racing Flag Signals
Although we normally hang our signal flag from the top I made the picture below in Paint shop pro to show what our flags would look like in a true race.
At race meetings, instructions and information regarding the events are usually given by means of flags and pennants and sound signals. There is an internationally agreed system of code flags used at most race meetings. The signals relate to rules applying to the meeting as a whole, starting procedures and instructions during the race. They are usually displayed from the starting box or start/committee boat, and a number of flags can be displayed simultaneously.
You must listen for the sound signals which draw your attention to the changes in the flags. Remember though, it is when your class flag is lowered that your race begins, not when you hear the sound signal
Although there are more flags I wanted to give a brief synopsis of the various ways signal flags can be used.