red flag

the symbol or banner of a left-wing revolutionary party.
a danger signal.
something that provokes an angry or hostile reaction: The talk about raising taxes was a red flag to many voters.
Also called powder flag. Nautical. a red burgee, designating in the International Code of Signals the letter “B,” flown by itself to show that a vessel is carrying, loading, or discharging explosives or highly inflammable material.
(initial capital letters) a war game the U.S. Air force holds several times each year at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, to train personnel in air combat.

1770–80 Unabridged


verb (used with object), red-flagged, red-flagging.
to mark or draw attention to for a particular purpose: The department has red-flagged the most urgent repair work to be done.
to provoke the attention of; alert; arouse: The animal's refusal to eat red-flagged the keeper that something was wrong.
of or pertaining to a red flag.
intended or serving to emphasize, warn, incite, or provoke.

1880–85 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To red flag
World English Dictionary
red flag
1.  a symbol of socialism, communism, or revolution
2.  a warning of danger or a signal to stop

Red Flag
the Red Flag a socialist song, written by James Connell (1852--1929), Irish political activist, in 1889

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Example sentences
Instead of the usual red flag, a lobster claw signals that there's mail to be
  picked up.
Failure to disclose should be a clear red flag fro publication.
The next time humans set foot on the moon, they may well plant a five-starred
  red flag there.
But others say that spikes of these chemicals, at levels much higher than
  normal, are a red flag for doping.
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