The Language Of The Flag

To strike a flag is to lower the national colors in token of


Flags are used as the symbol of rank and command, the officers using

them being called flag officers. Such flags are square, to distinguish

them from other banners.

A flag of truce is a white flag displayed to an enemy to indicate a

desire to parley or for consultation.

The white flag is a sign of peace. After a battle parties from both

sides often go out to the field to rescue the wounded or bury dead under

the protection of a white flag.

The red flag is a sign of defiance, and is often used by revolutionists.

In the naval service it is a mark of danger, and shows a vessel to be

receiving or discharging her powder.

The black flag is a sign of piracy.

The yellow flag shows a vessel to be at quarantine or is the sign of a

contagious disease.

A flag at half-mast means mourning. Fishing and other vessels return

with a flag at half-mast to announce the loss or death of some of the


Dipping the flag is lowering it slightly and then hoisting it again to

salute a vessel or fort.

If the President of the United States goes afloat the American flag is

carried in the bows of his barge or hoisted at the main of the vessel on

board of which he is.

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