enter image description here

It is Flag Day, and the US flag is on my brain. I can think of erect, unfurled, and at attention to describe a flag flying perpendicularly to the ground in a strong wind, but I feel like I’ve heard another word. Am I missing something?


5 Answers 5


Flying, horizontal or some combination of both.

The Lunar Flag Assembly was created to

make [the flag] appear to fly on the airless Moon as it would float in the wind on Earth.


Indirectly, the term horizontal is used throughout that article, such as in the following sentence.

Pete Conrad and Alan Bean, the crew of Apollo 12, had trouble with the latch mechanism which was supposed to keep the supporting pole horizontal, so the flag they deployed drooped at an angle.

Note that supporting pole is supposed to be horizontal, and therefore hold the flag horizontal as well.


Flags stand out in a stiff breeze.

A search in Google books provides some examples:

From his window if he slid far enough down the pillow Jackson could see the flag on the church tower and know the strength and direction of the wind, and in March the first westerly of the year had the flag standing out straight.

Reservoir 13: A Novel - Jon Mcgregor · 2017

As Sidney Griffith explains, in Ephrem's “paradoxical view, the image of Nisibis, with her symbolic Persian flag standing out in the breeze, came to stand as a symbol for the defeat of the very paganism which, by the poet's own ...

Constantine and the Captive Christians of Persia: Martyrdom ... - Kyle Smith · 2019

There was a flagpole surrounded by chrysanthemums , the American flag standing out straight in the stiff wind .

Dream Country: A Novel - Luanne Rice · 2008

Meagan looked up at the Canadian maple leaf flag standing out in the ever-stiffening south wind, and then sighted down the road toward the bridge.

Red Sky in the Morning - Bill Hamann · 2008


UNFURLED make or become spread out from a rolled or folded state, especially in order to be open to the wind.

  • 3
    You need to attribute your source.
    – Laurel
    Jun 17, 2022 at 14:13
  • 1
    Welcome to EL&U...you have posted a few interesting answers, but if you are quoting a source, you must cite the source to avoid legal complications...BTW, LQ answers like this are often deleted Jun 17, 2022 at 18:11
  • A flag is unfurled in order to fly it.
    – Lambie
    Nov 14, 2022 at 20:14


-Francis Scott Key (okay, not his exact phrasing)

MW (verb definition 2) references waving as a feature of a flag.

  • "Does[...]yet wave" probably did not look like this after all that went on, those vocal leaps and the range. Feel free to add another justification.
    – livresque
    Dec 16, 2022 at 3:20

The only term that comes to mind is "Full Mast" but that doesn't describe the way it's flowing in the wind - that describes the height at which it is in relation to the pole.

I suppose you could say the flag is flapping or swaying with the breeze?


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.