The Israeli Marine Innovation Association (MIA) is asking sailors and boaters to share a photo of themselves waving the yellow Q flag, or simply something yellow, to social media with the hashtag #YELLOWFORSAILING as a message of hope for ocean lovers around the world.
Originally meant to signify that a vessel was marked as having an infectious disease and therefore anybody aboard was in isolation for 40 days, the earliest known flying of the Q flag was in the early 18th century. However in today’s international maritime signal flags, the yellow Q flag symbolises that “my ship is healthy, I’m ready for inspection and I require the free practice”.
Speaking to Rhea Rouw on Yachting International Radio, Sophia Avnilov from the MIA explained that the challenge has now gone viral across social media, which all started with the association's CEO sharing a picture of himself waving a yellow towel on his apartment’s balcony saying: “I’m going to sail again.”
“The maritime industry has been around for centuries and has dealt with pandemics and plagues before,” she explains. “That’s why we have the Q flag, because the industry knows how to deal with them and is more familiar with them than the aviation industry, for example.”
“I want not just the industry leaders to participate in this challenge, but everyone who loves the sea, who loves sailing, who loves the beach. I want to connect and unite everyone who shares a passion for the sea,” she adds. “Raise your yellow flags for hope and optimism.”
The challenge has become a message of hope that says we are going to come out the other side of the pandemic, perhaps even better than before. “There is so much fear and anxiety right now, so we wanted to spread some positivity,” enthuses Sophia. “Express your love and longing for the sea, your support in global health for all living beings and the hope for a better future!”
“We will come back as a stronger more connected industry doing better things together,” concludes Rhea.
Watch the full interview below: