A cloth that is used as a symbol of a group or nation. Some of them are simply blocks or bands of color, others contain symbols on them.

Many groups and countries have come to treat their flags as sacred symbols. The USA, however, has had freedom of speech in past, allowing people to voice their opinions by burning the flag - but republicans are trying to pass a flag burning amendment.

In music notation, a flag is a short curved line attached to the eighth, sixteenth, thirty-second, or sixty-fourth note.

The number of flags used depends on the duration of the note; an eighth note uses one flag, a sixteenth note two flags, and so on. The first flag is drawn at the end of the stem furthest from the note-head and additional flags are attached to the stem progressively closer to the note-head.

In a polytope or simplicial complex, a collection of faces, one of each possible dimension, all having a common nonempty intersection.

--back to combinatorics--

A flag is also another name for a status bit, i.e. a binary toggle reflecting some aspect of the status of a system.

Take, for example, the carry flag. If an addition performed by a microprocessor or arithmetic logic unit causes a carry, then a particular bit will be set. If the addition does not cause a carry, that bit will be cleared. The value of the bit, then, reflects the condition of the result of the addition.

A typical ALU will have a zero flag, a carry flag (which normally also serves as an inverse borrow flag), sometimes a sign flag, sometimes a (signed) overflow flag, and others.

FIXME = F = flag day

flag n.

[very common] A variable or quantity that can take on one of two values; a bit, particularly one that is used to indicate one of two outcomes or is used to control which of two things is to be done. "This flag controls whether to clear the screen before printing the message." "The program status word contains several flag bits." Used of humans analogously to bit. See also hidden flag, mode bit.

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

Flag (flag), v. i. [imp. & p. p. Flagged (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Flagging (?).] [Cf. Icel. flaka to droop, hang loosely. Cf. Flacker, Flag an ensign.]


To hang loose without stiffness; to bend down, as flexible bodies; to be loose, yielding, limp.

As loose it [the sail] flagged around the mast.
T. Moore.


To droop; to grow spiritless; to lose vigor; to languish; as, the spirits flag; the streugth flags.

The pleasures of the town begin to flag.

Syn. -- To droop; decline; fail; languish; pine.


© Webster 1913

Flag (flag), v. t.


To let droop; to suffer to fall, or let fall, into feebleness; as, to flag the wings. prior.


To enervate; to exhaust the vigor or elasticity of.

Nothing so flags the spirits.


© Webster 1913

Flag, n. [Cf. LG. & G. flagge, Sw. flagg, Dan. flag, D. vlag. See Flag to hang loose.]


That which flags or hangs down loosely.


A cloth usually bearing a device or devices and used to indicate nationality, party, etc., or to give or ask information; -- commonly attached to a staff to be waved by the wind; a standard; a banner; an ensign; the colors; as, the national flag; a military or a naval flag.

3. (Zoöl.)


A group of feathers on the lower part of the legs of certain hawks, owls, etc.


A group of elongated wing feathers in certain hawks.


The bushy tail of a dog, as of a setter.

Black flag. See under Black. --
Flag captain, Flag leutenant, etc., special officers attached to the flagship, as aids to the flag officer. --
Flag officer, the commander of a fleet or squadron; an admiral, or commodore. --
Flag of truse, a white flag carried or displayed to an enemy, as an invitation to conference, or for the purpose of making some communication not hostile. --
Flag share, the flag officer's share of prize money. --
Flag station (Railroad), a station at which trains do not stop unless signaled to do so, by a flag hung out or waved. --
National flag, a flag of a particular country, on which some national emblem or device, is emblazoned. --
Red flag, a flag of a red color, displayed as a signal of danger or token of defiance; the emblem of anarchists. --
To dip, the flag, to mlower it and quickly restore it to its place; -- done as a mark of respect. --
To hang out the white flag, to ask truce or quarter, or, in some cases, to manifest a friendly design by exhibiting a white flag. --
To hang the flag half-mast high or half- staff, to raise it only half way to the mast or staff, as a token or sign of mourning. --
To strike, or lower, the flag, to haul it down, in token of respect, submission, or, in an engagement, of surrender. --
Yellow flag, the quarantine flag of all nations; also carried at a vessel's fore, to denote that an infectious disease is on board.


© Webster 1913

Flag, v. t. [From Flag an ensign.]


To signal to with a flag; as, to flag a train.


To convey, as a message, by means of flag signals; as, to flag an order to troops or vessels at a distance.


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Flag, n. [From Flag to hang loose, to bend down.] (Bot.)

An aquatic plant, with long, ensiform leaves, belonging to either of the genera Iris and Acorus.

Cooper's flag, the cat-tail (Typha latifolia), the long leaves of which are placed between the staves of barrels to make the latter water-tight. --
Corn flag. See under 2d Corn. --
Flag broom, a coarse of broom, originally made of flags or rushes. --
Flag root, the root of the sweet flag. --
Sweet flag. See Calamus, n., 2.


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Flag, v. t.

To furnish or deck out with flags.


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Flag, n. [Icel. flaga, cf. Icel. flag spot where a turf has been cut out, and E. flake layer, scale. Cf. Floe.]


A flat stone used for paving. Woodward.

2. (Geol.)

Any hard, evenly stratified sandstone, which splits into layers suitable for flagstones.


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Flag, v. t.

To lay with flags of flat stones.

The sides and floor are all flagged with . . . marble.


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Flag, n. (Zoöl.)

One of the wing feathers next the body of a bird; -- called also flag feather.


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Flag, v. t.

To decoy (game) by waving a flag, handkerchief, or the like to arouse the animal's curiosity.

The antelope are getting continually shyer and more difficult to flag.
T. Roosevelt.


© Webster 1913

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