under false colors

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under false colors

Using or under the guise of false pretenses, so as to deceive someone or to hide one's true nature or intentions. (An allusion to the identifying flags of a ship, and so usually used in the phrase "sail under false colors.") Primarily heard in US. Tim thought he could just put on fancy clothes and rub elbows with the upper crust that Janet's family socialized with, but everyone at the party knew he was sailing under false colors. I don't want to be accused of flying under false colors, so let me say straight away that I'm being paid to give a review of this product today.
See also: color, false
References in classic literature ?
You sail under false colours from beginning to end,' he said.
He can't be named but got himself smuggled here in 2003, claimed asylum under false colours, was told to return to Africa.
The leader of the Norwegian Society for the Conservation of Nature Lars Haltbrekke, on the contrary, considers that the oil industry is sailing under false colours when launching the initiative for gathering more knowledge.
I fear Mr Blair has been sailing under false colours for too long to change his policies in 2004.
But if Hinckley's Ex-Servicemen's Club's investigation reveals Mr Day is marching under false colours, he'll face a pounds 1,000 fine.
We can't have people turning a blind eye to violence or allowing people to participate in the talks under false colours," he said.