be like a red flag to a bull

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be like a red flag to a bull

To be a willfully infuriating or aggravating provocation; to be something that incites great anger or annoyance. An allusion to matadors' practice of waving red flags at a bull during a bullfight, though the color of the flag actually makes no difference to the animal. John's gone to gloat about his success over his brother, which is like a red flag to a bull, if you ask me. You do realize that bringing your new girlfriend to your ex-wife's house is like a red flag to a bull, right?
See also: bull, flag, like, red