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Pleasantly demented woman
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It's a great concept, however it is very much in dispute among historians. I'd say it's more urban legend than anything else.
 
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My Temperature is Right
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With a 20th century mind set it makes a plausible story until you consider how expensive textiles were before the Civil War, who was going to leave a quilt out to air for months at a time. Not to mention who was indoctrinating these illiterate folks being quickly shuffled through the system or the casual person who happened by.
 

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It is an interesting idea to implement into one's BO plan. However, there is the concern of making sure people you are trying to help understand the code, while it is cryptic enough so that the average person can not stumble upon it and catch on.
 

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Forever Vigilant
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2,260 Posts
I just went ahead and created a code for survivalists to use and had it laminated onto credit card sized plastic cards. It has limited distribution, and people should practice good OPSEC/PERSEC anyway, even with a code.

 

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off-grid organic farmer
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23,956 Posts
On a planet of 7 Billion people, in a nation of 300Million here is a forum with a few hundred. Any new code that anyone of us develops, would only be known to 0.0001% or less of the survivors of a SHTF incident.

What I mean to say is that even if we all agreed to one 'code' the chances are that nobody will ever see and understand any signs that you display.



The 'quilt codes' are a cool story. I have no idea of honestly how many slaves were helped by such a code. 1% ? 0.01?

As others have said they could not read, so how was this information spread while remaining secret?



On the other hand, there is a pre-existing network in every community of our nation. A network of men who are already sworn to help, to defend and assist each other. A network that has already survived through wars, famines, tyrants, and dictators. A fraternity that provides retirement homes for it's elderly members [and their wives], and who already supports 'free' hospitals, speech centers, and eye clinics nationwide.

Anyone remember a comedy TV show long ago called: "Hogans Heroes"? It was a funny show, about the workings of this fraternity during WWII, set in a POW camp. The actors were themselves former: POWs, camp guards, and fraternity members who had actually all been doing the work of the 'underground' during WWII.



I do not see the need to start up a brand new group, when an old group is still here, and still thriving.

I do not see the need to form a new set of 'codes', when there are already codes in use today.

:)
 

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Looks like rain to me.
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41,431 Posts
Heres a website Iv found about the codes of the patchwork quilts that were secret messages to those people escaping along the Rail Road, from South to North US:


http://www.osblackhistory.com/quiltcodes.php

It might be worth noting.
Purdy Bear,

My mom has been a quilter for many years. Her church has a quilters club. They do a "Patch of the Month" every year. 12 patches and then sew them alll together to make a quilt. One year they did the Slave Rail Road quilts. Smaller patches to represent the larger quilts. It turned out beautiful.

She has a book on making each quilt and the meaning behind the message.

There was no need to be able to read, only know what each symbol meant. It's been passed down through oral history so there isn't much written.

My wife has gotten into quilting for several years and is about ready to make the plunge into buying a long arm machine. Ohhh the toys I could get to make up that deal.
 

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Slaves also used coded talking to avoid being understood by the master. This tradition persisted and evolved into today's "ebonics" or black dialect. One characteristic of it is frequent shifting of meaning, so that the name of something tomorrow will be different from the name today. Another characteristic is indirect reference or euphemism.
 

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Survivus most anythingus
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3,874 Posts
The VietCong had trail markers. Indians used them. Freight hopping hobos, vagrants and gypsies, gitanos in Europe...they use them. Isn't much of our life based on immediately recognizable symbolism? It's truly fascinating, isn't it? Then various ways of communicating it, from chalk marks on the sidewalk to various colored and placed thumbtacks on wooden signposts and utility poles - all of which have been used by various intelligence agencies - to throwing a message-laden Coke bottle out the window of your speeding car at your Daddy's gas station during The Great Depression to tell your family where you want to meet next, thank you Clyde Barrow.

If you read history and you have intelligence and imagination, it is beautiful what you can come up with, it really is.
 

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Indefatigable
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I doubt that any form of code, and many have been discussed here, would work very well after SHTF. I think learning morse code or american sign language might be more usefull. But then again, 150 years ago ships used flags to send coded messages, who is to say that women didn't employ the same, only on a clothesline? About the quilts - about three years ago, I was lucky enough to see a traveling exhibition. Absolutly the most amazing peices of artwork!
 

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Survivus most anythingus
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3,874 Posts
I doubt that any form of code, and many have been discussed here, would work very well after SHTF. I think learning morse code or american sign language might be more usefull. But then again, 150 years ago ships used flags to send coded messages, who is to say that women didn't employ the same, only on a clothesline? About the quilts - about three years ago, I was lucky enough to see a traveling exhibition. Absolutly the most amazing peices of artwork!
A thinker. :cool:
 
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