flag Definition

  • 1a piece of cloth or similar material, typically oblong or square, attachable by one edge to a pole or rope and used as the symbol or emblem of a country or institution or as a decoration during public festivities.
  • 2a small piece of cloth attached to a staff and used as a marker in various sports.
  • 3a symbol or emblem representing a particular state, organization, or nationality.

Using flag: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "flag" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    The American flag has fifty stars and thirteen stripes.

  • Example

    The referee raised the flag to signal an offside.

  • Example

    The United Nations flag features a world map surrounded by olive branches.

flag Synonyms and Antonyms

Idioms Using flag

  • flag-waving

    excessive or ostentatious display of patriotism


    His speech was full of flag-waving and nationalistic rhetoric.

  • a warning signal or sign that something is wrong or dangerous


    Her constant lateness was a red flag for her boss.

  • a symbol of surrender or defeat


    After hours of negotiations, they finally raised the white flag and agreed to the terms.

Phrases with flag

  • raise/lower the flag

    to hoist or lower the flag on a flagpole, often as a sign of respect or mourning


    They raised the flag at dawn and lowered it at dusk.

  • the use of a foreign flag on a ship in order to register it in a country with less strict regulations or taxes


    Many shipping companies use flags of convenience to reduce costs.

  • to signal to a vehicle to stop by waving one's arm or a flag


    He flagged down a taxi and got in.

Origins of flag

from Old Norse 'flaga', meaning 'stone slab'


Summary: flag in Brief

A 'flag' [flæɡ] is a piece of cloth or similar material used as a symbol or emblem of a country, organization, or nationality. It can also be used as a marker in sports. Phrases like 'raise/lower the flag' and 'flag down' are common. Idioms like 'red flag' and 'white flag' denote warning signals and surrender, respectively.

How do native speakers use this expression?