USS Cooperstown and Signal Flags

We make signal flags. Reading this blog, you’d know it because it’s all about signal flags. But our signal flags are indoor decorations for people who want a nautical theme or room decor. The question is from where did we get the flag patterns and colors? Well, the US Navy.

Our flags are small 8-inch squares, but the full-size flags can be from size 0 up to size 14, which is a 4-by-6-foot letter flags, or a 2.6-by-9-foot number pennant. Can you imagine putting a 9-foot flag in the living room? When an ocean-going ship is dressed in flags (i.e., flying the full set of all the flags used for messaging), it’s an amazing picture!

Here’s a picture of one of the Navy’s newest Freedom-class war ships. It’s a “littoral” combat ship, meaning that it’s designed for close to shore action. The intention is for a ship that can take out defense systems on beaches and shores where we want to land military troops and supplies.

navy ship,nautical,signal flags,pennants
photo credit-fox11 online

This ship is the USS Cooperstown, with the call sign “LCS-23.” That would looks like this in signal flags:

Call sign USS Cooperstown
Call sign USS Cooperstown

The Cooperstown is the first ship with this particular name, signifying the baseball Hall of Fame and the 64 veterans who are members. Those men served in conflicts ranging from the Civil War to the Korean War, as you can read about in the Fox News story. Navy Ship    


In this picture, the ship is about to be launched and is dressed in signal flags the way we might wear our Sunday best for a celebration or formal occasion. The entire set of signal flags comprises all 26 alphabet letters and 10 numbers (0-9). In addition there are “repeater” flags. Because a set contains only 1 of each letter or number, certain flags instruct the reader to “repeat the first instance” of a previous flag. The repeaters indicate repetitions of a second or third occurrence, and can be quite confusing. That’s why we don’t make them. We offer multiple copies of letters, depending on what a customer would like to spell.

The Freedom-class ships are considered fast on the water, capable of reaching speeds of 40 knots. That’s about 46 miles-per-hour, which is two times faster than necessary to pull a water skier! And this ship is 388 feet long! Picture that: You’re out on a lake and ship the size of a football stadium comes flying by, pulling thirty or forty water skiers! Now that would be something to see!

IB Designs, USA


It’s a Nautical Christmas ~ 2014

With Thanksgiving barely behind us we are rushing towards the Christmas season. I love Christmas decorations and wanted to share some of my favorites in this post. Since we are busy packing we won’t be decorating as much this year. The first picture is my tree a couple of years ago with the added signal flags spelling out Merry Christmas.
christmas tree,holiday,signal flags,nautical

I just love this boat ‘The Gambler’ decorated with the lights and star!
christmas tree,holiday,signal flags,nautical

Another one that I found on Pinterest.
christmas tree,holiday,signal flags,nautical

Next this was posted on the Navy site and released to share. It was taken a few years ago.
christmas tree,holiday,signal flags,nautical

Lastly a Big Thank you to all our followers and customers. I treasure the friendships I have made through the blog and our website.

Wishing you a safe and Happy Christmas!
christmas tree,holiday,signal flags,nautical

IB Designs, USA

Our WI Vacation ~ More Pictures to Share

My last post showed just some of the pictures that I had taken. I wanted to share more of them with you. Although this trip was a vacation we were also looking around a few areas as we are going to move next Spring to WI. More about that as we go 🙂 Click on picture to see them full size!
The first picture was taken in the evening and loved the cloud formation as seen below:

lake water cloud formation wi

Next is a boat that was taking off. There is a boat house behind the tree on the left and they took off from there.

water boat lake wi

Next 2 pictures show the deck that I was taking pictures from

water boat lake wi cottage deck

water boat lake wi cottage deck

Next 2 pictures show some of the flower garden that they have made and foliage.

water boat lake wi cottage deck flowers

water boat lake wi cottage deck flowers

Hope you enjoyed the pictures.

18th & 19th Century Ships-Decor

This post shows a little bit of everything as far as nautical decor on ships of old. gpcox- pacificparatrooper had a great idea and got me thinking what ships would look like back then. He has a wonderful blog that is worth checking out!

Here is a pic of a 18th century ship!


ships,18th century,ocean, nautical

Below is a 19th century ship.

ships,19th century,ocean,nautical
photo credit- – scooner


Next is the Captain’s Quarters. Notice the quills that they used for writing back then!

captains cabin,quarters,ships,desk,nautical decor
photo credit-

Next is a Captain’s desk.Mahogany ship’s Captain’s pedestal desk

captains desk,ship,nautical decor

Love this lantern that they used.

ships lantern,nautical decor,ocean

Lastly love the signal flags in the picture below. Dressed as a 19th century sailor on the deck of a wooden sailing ship- Punch

signal flags,ships,ocean,
photo credit-

Here is a link with a little bit about Frequently Asked Questions from the Navy site.

Phonetic alphabet is a list of words used to identify letters in a message transmitted by radio or telephone. Spoken words from an approved list are substituted for letters. For example, the word “Navy” would be “November Alfa Victor Yankee” when spelled in the phonetic alphabet. This practice helps to prevent confusion between similar sounding letters, such as “m” and “n”, and to clarify communications that may be garbled during transmission.

An early version of the phonetic alphabet appears in the 1913 edition of The Bluejackets’ Manual. Found in the Signals section, it was paired with the Alphabetical Code Flags defined in the International Code. Both the meanings of the flags (the letter which they represent) and their names (which make up the phonetic alphabet) were selected by international agreement. Later editions included the Morse code signal as well.


Hope you enjoyed the post!




Independence Day~ 4th of July Tribute

With just a little over a week away we will soon be celebrating the 4th of July. I ran across this video and it really touched me as it sums up what I feel. I felt compelled to share it and hope that you enjoy it as much as I did. A big salute to all our soldiers and veterans for all that they do to keep our country safe 365 days out of the year.

4th of July- We remember


Wishing everyone a safe and happy 4th of July as we celebrate the Declaration of Independence.


banner,america,patriotic,4th of July,independence dayIB Designs, USA



Happy New Year- Nautical Style- 2014

new year eve,new years day,nautical,ship,holidayHappy New Years to all my friends and followers. This time of year is a good time to reflect back over the past year. We had a great year especially November and December. We have been in business now since 2005. The past 8 years have flown by. We love making our product and it’s great to be able to do something that you truly enjoy. We expect to be in business for a long time. I had fun putting together the picture above!

I thought I would also show you below something that I just learned.  Unlike civil clock bells, the strikes of the bell do not accord to the number of the hour. Instead, there are eight bells, one for each half-hour of a four-hour watch.

At midnight on New Year’s Eve sixteen bells would be struck – eight bells for the old year and eight bells for the new.

Below is a picture from Wikipedia showing the bell.

(The photo below is released and public domain)

new year eve,new years day,nautical,ship,holiday,bell ringing,navy, military

If you wish to know more you can click on this link to read more about bell ringing.

My wish to all my friends and followers that 2014 will be a great year for you.

IB Designs, USA

Christmas Lighted Boat Parade~2013 & Holiday Ordering

Each year I do a blog post about a Christmas Lights Boat Parade. I tend to pick out different ones each year. There are so many to choose from and love the way they decorate their boats and yachts.This year I chose one from Kennewick, WA. Here is a You Tube video that shows one from a couple of years ago.

Lighting up the Columbia River since 1964. Proudly Sponsored By: Clover Island Yacht Club
Kennewick, Washington

2013 Parade Dates:  Friday & Saturday, December 13 & 14, 2013. For more info you can check out there website:

Below is a picture of the USS Russell with all it’s lights. So Beautiful!

christmas, lights,ship,maritime

Lastly a Christmas pic that spell out JOY on our Vertical Ladder.

candy cane,christmas,nautical,signal flags, banner

Christmas Ordering Info

For most banners, please order prior to December 1st to ensure delivery before December 24, 2013. Check out our Ordering Page for current information. You can also email and we can let you know if your banner can arrive before Christmas. Our flag are hand-crafted by us.