What do the racing flags mean?

Traditionally, racing flags are use in automotive racing. They are used to show track conditions while communicating important messages to the drivers. Typically, the starter, waves the racing flags atop a flag stand near the start/finish line. So, what do the flags mean? Well, let’s dive into it! As we discuss the flags, we will discuss them in chronological order. For example, we will start with the green flag.

  • Green – Start of the race.
  • Yellow – Caution flag, slow down. Following a yellow flag, the lineup will revert to what it was on the previous running green. All cars involved in the accident will start at the back.
  • Red – Stop as soon as possible. Following a red flag, the lineup will revert to what it was on the previous running green. All cars involved in the accident will start at the back.
  • Half Red and Half Yellow – The race will be completely restarted. Used when there is an accident on the first lap.
  • Yellow with Blue stripe – You are about to be lapped by the leaders.
  • Black with White stripe – You have a mechanical problem and should pull into the pits to have your car checked out.
  • Black – You should enter the pits immediately for a consultation. You may or may not be allowed back in the race. Usually used for rough driving.
  • White – One lap remains.
  • Checkered – The race is over.

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