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Showing posts with the label call letters

Why Do Radio Stations Start with K or W?

You know this station is on the West Coast.  Probably. If you’ve ever crossed the United States, you might have noticed that the call letters of the radio and TV stations tend to start with W in the east and K in the west.  The reason for this actually predates any of the radio stations that have ever operated on land.  It started at sea. In the 1880s, merchant ships were starting to use letter-coded signal flags to identify themselves.  Besides the ship’s national flag and other identifying flags, a series of four flags, each one representing a letter of the alphabet, would fly from the ship.  For example, the word “flag” would be written like this: Navy signal flags: Foxtrot, Lima, Alfa, Golf Those are the flags representing the letters F, L, A and G.  These letter flags were used to communicate with other ships in the time before radio.  The above wouldn’t have been any ship’s code, though, since the codes that ships used were assigned were always four letters