fan the flames

fan the flames (of something)

Fig. to make something more intense; to make a situation worse. The riot fanned the flames of racial hatred even more. The hostility in the school is bad enough without anyone fanning the flames.
See also: fan, flame

fan the flames (of something)

to cause an increase in negative feelings These images of war could be used to fan the flames of hatred against our country.
Etymology: based on the literal meaning of fan the flames (to cause air to flow toward a fire)
See also: fan, flame

fan the flames

to cause anger or other bad feelings to increase (usually + of ) His speeches fanned the flames of racial tension.
See also: fan, flame

fan the flames

Intensify or stir up feelings; exacerbate an explosive situation. For example, She already found him attractive, but his letters really fanned the flames, or His speech fanned the flames of racial dissension.
See also: fan, flame
References in classic literature ?
These men fan the flame of human love and raise the standard of civil virtue among mankind.
Any rapid movement will fan the flames and make them worse.
Without doing that you may fan the flames rather than quell them, so make sure you stop and engage brain before opening mouth.
But Genel and Tullow have sparked the ire of some Western diplomats who warn that prospecting in disputed lands can only fan the flames of conflict.
The band also likes to fan the flames as its repertoire includes arrangements, in traditional style, of Rags, spirituals and gospel music, pop tunes from the start of the 20th century to the 1960s, blues and original pieces by band members.
Nobody should try to fan the flames of sectarian violence.
They denounced Iranian hostile statements which seek to destabilize Bahrain, subvert its national security, target the lives of innocent citizens and residents, fan the flames of sectarian flames and drive wedges between people.
It was recently reported in a national newspaper that Michael Howard's visit to Burnley would fan the flames of race hate.
The hot, dry winds from the north, northeast, and east helped fan the flames, which engulfed entire forests and neighborhoods.
Winds of up to 45mph today are expected to fan the flames.
Bush and Company's efforts to fan the flames of racism, aggregate power to the government as a result of the fear they generate, and ignore the negative impacts, both domestic and global, of U.
It is the television, radio and newspapers who fan the flames of a potential "race war" - a phrase used by one of these leaders himself.
Shallow arguments do nothing to resolve the controversy; indeed by insulting the other side's intelligence, they only fan the flames.
Bush's Iraq campaign, which O'Reilly supported, has done nothing but fan the flames of terrorism, attracting untold thousands of young, largely illiterate and indigent Islamic fundamentalists to join the fight against our troops, ``the infidel invaders.
A North Wales Fire Service spokeswoman said about 100 square metres of gorse were ablaze and strong winds helped fan the flames.