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black flag

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noun
  1. a pirate flag, usually of black cloth with a white skull and crossbones on it; Jolly Roger.
  2. a flag having two yellow and two black squares, signifying the letter L in the International Code of Signals: formerly so called when used by itself to indicate the presence of cholera on board a vessel.
  3. a signal given to an automobile racing driver to stop, usually because the car may have a dangerous problem that requires inspection.

Origin of black flag

First recorded in 1585–95
Also called blackjack (for defs 1, 2).
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for black flag

Historical Examples

  • One hundred black-flag Taaisha, the Khalifa's own Baggara tribesmen and part of his body-guard, charged impetuously.

    Khartoum Campaign, 1898

    Bennet Burleigh

  • Knowing that we could not escape from her, the stranger openly showed his colors—the pirate's black-flag.


British Dictionary definitions for black flag

black flag

noun
  1. another name for the Jolly Roger
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012