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Racing Flags and Their Meanings - Part 2

Posted: 10-16-12 | Parker Flags

Today we are continuing our series on racing flags and what each one means, specifically, we’ll be taking a look at the instruction flags, these are the flags that are meant to communicate with one particular driver at a time.

The Black flag – Seeing this flag is usually a sign that you’re in some sort of trouble. It is used to communicate with a driver that they need to immediately steer their vehicle to the pits. The car number of the flag that is being summoned will be placed somewhere near the flag itself. The black flag is used for a particular driver if they are driving in an unsafe manner, such as failing to maintain the proper speed during the race. This may be due to a loose hood, or a dragging bumper, or some other damage that poses a danger to other drivers. The driver is flagged to the pits until they are able to make repairs to the car in a manner that is sufficient enough for them to rejoin the race.

If a black flag is waved at all observations posts this means that the track must be cleared of all drivers, this is often the case during serious accidents.

Black flag with an orange circle – If a car has mechanical problems that are actually interfering with the race itself, such as leaking oil, water, or fuel, this flag will be waved so it can return to the pit in order for these problems to be repaired.

Black/White diagonal flag – If you see a flag that is divided diagonally and is half black, half white, that means that a driver has participated in what has been deemed unsportsmanlike conduct. This happens if a car tried to drive another car off the course intentionally, or if a driver exits their vehicle looking to start an altercation with another driver.

White cross flag – This flag indicates that a car is no longer being scored; it is used in the instance that a driver decides to ignore other black flags that have been waved at it.

Blue flag – A blue flag, often times with a diagonal yellow, orange, or red stripe, lets a driver know that a faster car is approaching them and that the driver needs to pull aside in order to let the faster cars pass. This flag is seen more often during practice or qualifying rounds.

Next time we’ll take a look at checkered flags and dive into what those mean. Check back soon! And make sure to check out Parker Flags selection of racing flags in case you have any races of your own coming up.