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An entry in Fortnightly Topic Challenge #37: Rare and Endangered 1


I received a strange message the other day via email, and I can't seem to make any sense out of it. The entire message is composed solely of flags and rockets.

🏳️🏳️🏳️🏳️ 🏳️ 🏳️🏴🏳️🏳️ 🏳️🏴🏳️🏳️ 🏴🏴🏴 πŸš€ 🏴 🏳️🏳️🏳️🏳️ 🏳️ 🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏳️ πŸš€ 🏳️🏴🏴🏴 🏳️ 🏴🏴🏴 πŸš€ 🏴🏳️🏴🏴 🏳️🏳️🏴 🏴🏴🏴 πŸš€ 🏴🏳️🏴 🏴🏴🏴 🏴🏳️ 🏳️🏴🏴 πŸš€

🏳️🏳️ πŸš€ 🏳️🏴 🏴🏴 πŸš€ 🏳️🏴 🏴🏳️🏳️ 🏳️ 🏴🏳️🏳️ 🏳️🏴 🏴🏳️🏴🏴 🏴🏴🏴 πŸš€ 🏳️🏴🏴🏳️ 🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏳️🏳️ 🏴🏳️ 🏴🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏳️ πŸš€ 🏴🏴🏴 🏳️🏳️🏴🏳️ πŸš€ 🏴🏳️ 🏳️🏳️ 🏴🏴🏳️ 🏳️ 🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏳️🏳️ 🏳️🏴 πŸš€

🏳️🏳️ πŸš€ 🏳️🏴 🏴🏴 πŸš€ 🏳️🏳️ 🏴🏳️ πŸš€ 🏴🏳️🏳️ 🏳️ 🏳️🏳️🏳️ 🏳️🏴🏴🏳️ 🏳️ 🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏳️🏴 🏴 🏳️ πŸš€ 🏴🏳️ 🏳️ 🏳️ 🏴🏳️🏳️ πŸš€ 🏴🏴🏴 🏳️🏳️🏴🏳️ πŸš€ 🏴🏳️🏴🏴 🏴🏴🏴 🏳️🏳️🏴 🏳️🏴🏳️ πŸš€ 🏳️🏳️🏳️🏳️ 🏳️ 🏳️🏴🏳️🏳️ 🏳️🏴🏴🏳️ πŸš€

🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏳️ 🏴🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏳️ 🏴🏳️ 🏴 🏳️🏴🏳️🏳️ 🏴🏳️🏴🏴 πŸš€ 🏴🏴 🏴🏳️🏴🏴 πŸš€ 🏳️🏳️🏴 🏴🏳️ 🏴🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏳️🏴🏳️🏳️ 🏳️ πŸš€ 🏴🏳️🏴 🏳️🏳️ 🏳️🏴🏳️🏳️ 🏳️🏴🏳️🏳️ 🏳️ 🏴🏳️🏳️ πŸš€ 🏴 🏳️🏳️🏳️🏳️ 🏳️ πŸš€ 🏴🏳️🏴 🏳️🏳️ 🏴🏳️ 🏴🏴🏳️ πŸš€ 🏳️🏴🏴 🏳️🏳️🏳️🏳️ 🏴🏴🏴 πŸš€ 🏳️🏴🏴 🏳️🏴 🏳️🏳️🏳️ πŸš€ 🏴🏴 🏴🏳️🏴🏴 πŸš€ 🏳️🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏳️🏴 🏴 🏳️🏳️🏳️🏳️ 🏳️ 🏳️🏴🏳️ πŸš€

🏴🏳️ 🏴🏴🏴 🏳️🏴🏴 πŸš€ 🏴 🏴🏴🏴 πŸš€ 🏳️🏴🏴🏳️ 🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏴🏴🏴 🏴 🏳️ 🏴🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏴 πŸš€ 🏴🏴 🏴🏳️🏴🏴 πŸš€ 🏴🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏴🏴🏴 🏳️🏳️🏴 🏴🏳️ 🏴 🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏴🏳️🏴🏴 πŸš€ 🏳️🏳️ πŸš€ 🏴🏴 🏳️🏳️🏴 🏳️🏳️🏳️ 🏴 πŸš€ 🏴 🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏳️🏴 🏴🏳️ 🏳️🏳️🏳️ 🏳️🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏳️ 🏳️🏴🏳️ πŸš€ 🏳️🏴 🏳️🏴🏳️🏳️ 🏳️🏴🏳️🏳️ πŸš€ 🏴 🏳️🏳️🏳️🏳️ 🏳️ πŸš€ 🏴🏴 🏴🏴🏴 🏴🏳️ 🏳️ 🏴🏳️🏴🏴 πŸš€ 🏳️🏳️ 🏴🏳️ πŸš€ 🏴🏴 🏴🏳️🏴🏴 πŸš€ 🏴🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏴🏴🏴 🏳️🏳️🏴 🏴🏳️ 🏴 🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏴🏳️🏴🏴 πŸš€ 🏳️🏳️ 🏴🏳️ πŸš€ 🏳️🏴 πŸš€ 🏳️🏴🏴🏳️ 🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏴🏴🏴 🏴 🏳️ 🏴🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏴 🏳️ 🏴🏳️🏳️ πŸš€ 🏳️🏴 🏴🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏴🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏴🏴🏴 🏳️🏳️🏴 🏴🏳️ 🏴 πŸš€ 🏴 🏴🏴🏴 πŸš€ 🏳️🏴🏴🏳️ 🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏳️ 🏳️🏳️🏳️🏴 🏳️ 🏴🏳️ 🏴 πŸš€ 🏴🏴 🏴🏳️🏴🏴 πŸš€ 🏳️🏳️🏴 🏴🏳️ 🏴🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏳️🏴🏳️🏳️ 🏳️ πŸš€ 🏳️🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏴🏴🏴 🏴🏴 πŸš€ 🏳️🏳️🏴 🏳️🏳️🏳️ 🏳️🏳️ 🏴🏳️ 🏴🏴🏳️ πŸš€ 🏴 🏳️🏳️🏳️🏳️ 🏳️ πŸš€ 🏴🏴 🏴🏴🏴 🏴🏳️ 🏳️ 🏴🏳️🏴🏴 πŸš€ 🏳️🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏴🏴🏴 🏳️🏴🏳️ πŸš€ 🏳️🏴🏴🏳️ 🏴🏴🏴 🏳️🏴🏳️🏳️ 🏳️🏳️ 🏴 🏳️🏳️ 🏴🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏳️🏴 🏳️🏴🏳️🏳️ πŸš€ 🏴🏴🏳️ 🏳️🏴 🏳️🏳️ 🏴🏳️ 🏳️🏳️🏳️ πŸš€

🏳️🏴🏴🏳️ 🏳️🏴🏳️🏳️ 🏳️ 🏳️🏴 🏳️🏳️🏳️ 🏳️ 🏴🏴🏳️🏳️🏴🏴 πŸš€ 🏴🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏴🏴🏴 🏴🏳️ 🏴🏳️ 🏳️ 🏴🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏴 πŸš€ 🏴 🏴🏴🏴 πŸš€ 🏴🏴 🏴🏳️🏴🏴 πŸš€ 🏳️🏴🏴 🏳️ 🏳️🏳️🏳️ 🏴 🏳️ 🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏴🏳️ πŸš€ 🏳️🏳️🏴 🏴🏳️ 🏳️🏳️ 🏴🏴🏴 🏴🏳️ πŸš€ 🏳️🏴 🏴🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏴🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏴🏴🏴 🏳️🏳️🏴 🏴🏳️ 🏴 πŸš€ 🏳️🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏴🏴🏴 🏳️🏴🏳️ πŸš€ 🏳️🏴 πŸš€ 🏳️🏳️🏳️ 🏴🏴 🏳️🏴 🏳️🏴🏳️🏳️ 🏳️🏴🏳️🏳️ πŸš€ 🏳️🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏳️ 🏳️ πŸš€ 🏴🏴🏴 🏳️🏳️🏴🏳️ πŸš€ 🏳️🏳️🏴🏴🏴 🏳️🏴🏴🏴🏴 🏳️🏳️🏳️🏳️🏴 πŸš€ 🏳️🏳️🏴 🏳️🏳️🏳️ 🏴🏳️🏳️ πŸš€ 🏳️🏳️🏳️ 🏴🏴🏴 πŸš€ 🏴 🏳️🏳️🏳️🏳️ 🏳️🏴 🏴 πŸš€ 🏳️🏴🏴 🏳️ πŸš€ 🏴🏴 🏳️🏴 🏴🏳️🏴🏴 πŸš€ 🏴 🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏳️🏴 🏴🏳️ 🏳️🏳️🏳️ 🏳️🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏳️ 🏳️🏴🏳️ πŸš€ 🏴🏴🏴 🏳️🏳️🏴 🏳️🏴🏳️ πŸš€ 🏴🏴 🏴🏴🏴 🏴🏳️ 🏳️ 🏴🏳️🏴🏴 πŸš€ 🏴 🏴🏴🏴 πŸš€ 🏴🏳️🏴🏴 🏴🏴🏴 🏳️🏳️🏴 πŸš€ 🏴🏳️🏴🏴 🏴🏴🏴 🏳️🏳️🏴 πŸš€ 🏳️🏴🏴 🏳️🏳️ 🏳️🏴🏳️🏳️ 🏳️🏴🏳️🏳️ πŸš€ 🏴🏳️🏳️🏳️ 🏳️ πŸš€ 🏴🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏴🏴🏴 🏴🏴 🏳️🏴🏴🏳️ 🏳️ 🏴🏳️ 🏳️🏳️🏳️ 🏳️🏴 🏴 🏳️ 🏴🏳️🏳️ πŸš€ 🏳️🏳️🏴 🏳️🏴🏴🏳️ πŸš€ 🏴 🏴🏴🏴 πŸš€ 🏳️🏳️🏳️🏳️🏳️ πŸš€ 🏴🏴 🏳️🏳️ 🏳️🏴🏳️🏳️ 🏳️🏴🏳️🏳️ 🏳️🏳️ 🏴🏴🏴 🏴🏳️ πŸš€ 🏳️🏳️🏴 🏳️🏳️🏳️ 🏴🏳️🏳️ πŸš€ 🏳️🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏴🏴🏴 🏳️🏴🏳️ πŸš€ 🏴🏳️🏴🏴 🏴🏴🏴 🏳️🏳️🏴 🏳️🏴🏳️ πŸš€ 🏴🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏴🏴🏴 🏴🏳️ 🏴 🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏳️🏳️ 🏴🏳️🏳️🏳️ 🏳️🏳️🏴 🏴 🏳️🏳️ 🏴🏴🏴 🏴🏳️ 🏳️🏳️🏳️ πŸš€ 🏳️🏴 🏳️🏴🏳️🏳️ 🏳️🏳️🏳️ 🏴🏴🏴 πŸš€ 🏳️🏴🏴🏳️ 🏳️🏴🏳️🏳️ 🏳️ 🏳️🏴 🏳️🏳️🏳️ 🏳️ πŸš€ 🏳️🏴🏳️🏳️ 🏴🏴🏴 🏴🏴🏴 🏴🏳️🏴 πŸš€ 🏳️🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏴🏴🏴 🏳️🏴🏳️ πŸš€ 🏴🏴 🏴🏳️🏴🏴 πŸš€ 🏴🏳️ 🏳️ 🏴🏳️🏳️🏴 🏴 πŸš€ 🏴🏴 🏳️ 🏳️🏳️🏳️ 🏳️🏳️🏳️ 🏳️🏴 🏴🏴🏳️ 🏳️ πŸš€

🏴 🏴🏴🏴 πŸš€ 🏳️ 🏴🏳️ 🏳️🏳️🏳️ 🏳️🏳️🏴 🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏳️ πŸš€ 🏴🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏴🏴🏴 🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏳️ 🏴🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏴 πŸš€ 🏴🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏴🏴🏴 🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏳️ 🏳️🏳️🏳️ 🏳️🏴🏴🏳️ 🏴🏴🏴 🏴🏳️ 🏴🏳️🏳️ 🏳️ 🏴🏳️ 🏴🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏳️ πŸš€ 🏴🏴 🏴🏳️🏴🏴 πŸš€ 🏴🏳️ 🏳️ 🏴🏳️🏳️🏴 🏴 πŸš€ 🏴🏴 🏳️ 🏳️🏳️🏳️ 🏳️🏳️🏳️ 🏳️🏴 🏴🏴🏳️ 🏳️ πŸš€ 🏳️🏴🏴 🏳️🏳️ 🏳️🏴🏳️🏳️ 🏳️🏴🏳️🏳️ πŸš€ 🏴🏳️🏳️🏳️ 🏳️ πŸš€ 🏳️ 🏴🏳️ 🏴🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏴🏴🏴 🏴🏳️🏳️ 🏳️ 🏴🏳️🏳️ πŸš€

🏴 🏳️🏳️🏳️🏳️ 🏳️ πŸš€ 🏳️🏴🏴🏳️ 🏳️🏳️🏳️🏳️ 🏳️🏴🏳️ 🏳️🏴 🏳️🏳️🏳️ 🏳️ πŸš€ 🏳️🏳️ 🏳️🏳️🏳️ πŸš€

🏳️🏴 πŸš€ 🏳️🏴🏳️🏳️ 🏳️🏴 🏴🏳️🏳️ πŸš€ 🏴🏳️ 🏳️🏴 🏴🏴 🏳️ 🏴🏳️🏳️ πŸš€ 🏳️ πŸš€ 🏴🏴 🏳️🏴 🏴🏳️ 🏴🏳️🏳️ 🏳️🏴 🏳️🏴🏳️🏳️ 🏳️🏴

Samuel Joseph Alfred

Can you help me read it?

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  • 4
    $\begingroup$ I want to say it is a version of morse code, but... $\endgroup$ – PotatoLatte Jul 10 '18 at 16:53
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    $\begingroup$ Flags may represent binary. $\endgroup$ – Mxracer424 Jul 10 '18 at 16:55
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    $\begingroup$ What font should I be using to see the flags? $\endgroup$ – Jeff Zeitlin Jul 10 '18 at 17:40
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Is that supposed to mean one of them should work? $\endgroup$ – PotatoLatte Jul 10 '18 at 17:59
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    $\begingroup$ @BruceWayne Using @GustavoGabriel's substitutions, I've converted it to a representative plaintext format for you. $\endgroup$ – maxathousand Aug 1 '18 at 15:51
8
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The text are a kind of morse code where:

White flags are dots, black flags are dashes and the rockets are spaces

The translated text:

HELLO THERE JEO YUO KONW I AM ADEDAYO PRINCE OF NIGERIA I AM IN DESPERATE NEED OF YOUR HELP RECENTLY MY UNCLE KILLED THE KING WHO WAS MY FATHER NOW TO PROTECT MY COUNTRY I MUST TRANSFER ALL THE MONEY IN MY COUNTRY IN A PROTECTED ACCOUNT TO PREVENT MY UNCLE FROM USING THE MONEY FOR POLITICAL GAINS PLEASE, CONNECT TO MY WESTERN UNION ACCOUNT FOR A SMALL FEE OF 214 USD SO THAT WE MAY TRANSFER OUR MONEY TO YOU YOU WILL BE COMPENSATED UP TO 5 MILLION USD FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS ALSO PLEASE LOOK FOR MY NEXT MESSAGE TO ENSURE CORRECT CORRESPONDENCE MY NEXT MESSAGE WILL BE ENCODED THE PHRASE IS A LAD NAMED E MANDALA

"Samuel Joseph Alfred":

The names of the guys who developed the morse code: Samuel F. B. Morse, the American physicist Joseph Henry, and Alfred Vail

Just curiosity:

I don't know how you guys normally do it, but this is how I translated from flags to morse code, since I'm a ruby developer (Not the best code, but it did the job :) ):

morse = "🏳🏳🏳🏳 🏳 🏳🏴🏳🏳 🏳🏴🏳🏳 🏴🏴🏴 πŸš€... " parsed = "" morse.each_char do |cur| if cur == "🏳" parsed = parsed + "." elsif cur == "🏴" parsed = parsed + "-" elsif cur == "πŸš€" parsed = parsed + "/" elsif cur == " " parsed = parsed + " " end end

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    $\begingroup$ Nice. So there should be a second and possibly third cipher. apparently the last phrase about A LAD NAMED E MANDALA is a palindrome. There is also the mangling of Joe's name to consider... $\endgroup$ – SKOG Jul 10 '18 at 18:37

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