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black flag

a pirate flag, usually of black cloth with a white skull and crossbones on it; Jolly Roger.
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.
a signal given to an automobile racing driver to stop, usually because the car may have a dangerous problem that requires inspection.
Also called blackjack (for defs 1, 2).
Origin of black flag
First recorded in 1585-95 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for black flag
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Up goes the black flag, and the skull and crossbones to the fore.

  • Folks said, moreover, that he owned a vessel which hoisted a black flag.

    The Birthright Joseph Hocking
  • The deck was strewn with mangled corpses, the black flag was shot from the mast.

  • “Hurrah for the black flag and the southern seas,” cried one of the party.

    The Island Queen R.M. Ballantyne
  • It will blow your ship out of the water, and I'll have a black flag on it and everything!

  • But I'll have a black flag, anyhow, and maybe I'll be a pirate some other time.

British Dictionary definitions for black flag

black flag

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
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