- 1 a piece of cloth with a special coloured design on it that may be the symbol of a particular country or organization, or may have a particular meaning. A flag can be attached to a pole or held in the hand the Italian flag the flag of Italy The hotel flies the European Union flag. The American flag was flying. All the flags were at half mast (= in honour of a famous person who has died). The black and white flag went down, and the race began. see also blue flag
- 2used to refer to a particular country or organization and its beliefs and values to swear allegiance to the flag He was working under the flag of the United Nations.
- 3 a piece of cloth that is attached to a pole and used as a signal or marker in various sports See related entries: Golf
- 4 a flower that is a type of iris and that grows near water yellow flags
- 5= flagstone Word Originnoun senses 1 to 3 mid 16th cent.: perhaps from obsolete flag ‘drooping’, of unknown ultimate origin. noun sense 5 late Middle English (also in the sense ‘turf, sod’): probably of Scandinavian origin and related to Icelandic flag
something that is likely to make somebody very angry