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Admiral DuChaffault's signal flags (France, 1780)

Last modified: 2010-11-13 by ivan sache
Keywords: duchaffault | signal flags |
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A short biography of Admiral DuChaffault

Louis-Charles, Count DuChaffault de Besné (1708-1794), was baptized in the Saint Vincent church of Nantes on 29 February 1708. He was upgraded to Ensign on 10 June 1733, to Captain on 23 May 1754, to Admiral on 21 September 1779 and eventually to Admiral of the Navy on 15 May 1791.

In spite of his venerable age, DuChaffault was arrested in 1793 and jailed in Nantes. He died in the castle of Luzançay on 11 Messidor of the Year II of the Republic (29 June 1794).
DuChaffault was considerably rich and owned many farms. He spent his last weeks of freedom in his famrs, spreading and hiding there the gold he had kept un his house located in the village of Montaigu. A first deposit was found under the stone floor of one of his farms in 1824; a second deposit was found in a low wall near Montaigu. A third deposit made of 1,600-1,700 golden coins was dug up in 1993 by a young treasure hunter in Guyonniè near Montaigu, where DuChaffault owned one of its main castles, eventually burnt down by the Republicans.

Dominique Cureau, 16 May 2005

The signal flags

Admiral DuChaffault designed a set of 20 square flags with only four colours: white, yellow, red and blue. The white is the more used (15/20), and the yellow the less (3/20).
The basic heraldic rule of alternance between metal (white, yellow) and colours (red, blue) is respected. There are no transitions between white and yellow, nor red and blue.
Each flag of the table has a meaning in naval tactics and a geographical meaning.

[Signal 1]

DuChaffault's signal #1 - Image by Dominique Cureau, 16 May 2005

Description: Plain white flag
Tactical meaning:
Geographical meaning: