nail (one's) colours to the mast

(redirected from nail his colours to the mast)

nail (one's) colours to the mast

To refuse to cease or surrender. Because lowering a ship's flag was a customary indication of surrender, this nautical phrase emphasizes the resolve of a ship's crew. We will nail our colours to the mast and fight on—they will never capture us! We're going to have a tough time beating this team now that they are playing with such determination. I fear they've nailed their colours to the mast.
See also: colour, mast, nail

nail your colours to the mast

BRITISH, JOURNALISM
1. If you nail your colours to the mast, you state your opinions or beliefs about something clearly and publicly. Note: A ship's colours are its national flag. Let me nail my colours to the mast straightaway. I both like and admire him immensely.
2. If you nail your colours to the mast, you say clearly and publicly that you support a particular person, idea, or theory. Note: A ship's colours are its national flag. In the Thatcher years, the young MP nailed his colours to Mrs T's mast more firmly than most. This was the moment he nailed his colours to the mast of Social Security reform. Note: Battleships used to lower their colours to show that they were surrendering. Sometimes the colours were nailed to the mast as a sign of determination to fight to the end.
See also: colour, mast, nail

nail (or pin) your colours to the mast

declare openly and firmly what you believe or favour.
See also: colour, mast, nail

nail your colours to the ˈmast

(especially British English) show clearly which side you support: It’s time to nail our colours to the mast and condemn this dreadful policy. OPPOSITE: sit on the fenceIn this expression, colours are flags. In a battle at sea, a ship would nail its colours to the mast to show its intention to continue fighting and not surrender.
See also: colour, mast, nail
References in periodicals archive ?
Guardiola also refused to nail his colours to the mast over who would start in goal against Chelsea.
One of the key focuses of the Albion Assembly has been maximising the enjoyment of attending The Hawthorns, and by so doing to get the neutral visitor to nail his colours to the mast.
| FLYING HAMMER (7.25) can nail his colours to the mast on his handicap debut at Kempton tonight.
And Coloccini has yet to nail his colours to the mast for next term.
Hodges doesn't want to nail his colours to the mast yet, but says he has seen a marked increase in the standard of rugby being played in the British & Irish Cup this season.
The midfielder has yet to nail his colours to the mast and is currently playing rugby in the Leinster League.
So it is interesting to see that once again the chancellor has decided to nail his colours to the mast and predict a recovery by the end of the year.
He is set to nail his colours to the mast next week against Poland.
Mullins has never been one to nail his colours to the mast far in advance of any race or meeting, and even if Glencove Marina retains his unbeaten record at Leopardstown next month, it will be no surprise if he continues to bide his time regarding which race to go for - the Arkle or the longer race - at Cheltenham.
One man who's not afraid to nail his colours to the mast is Donald Saunders of Rhos-on-Sea, who had this to say: ``Your article in today's Daily Post is one I wholeheartedly support.
Although O'Leary is refusing to nail his colours to the mast by claiming Leeds can take the title, he at least believes they will fight to the bitter end in a bid to win the championship for the first time in 10 years.
He refused to nail his colours to the mast but despite saying he was proud of his Scots roots, he also hinted heavily he was in favour of retaining the Union.
Ba dismissed speculation linking him with a move away from Newcastle with a tweet saying "rumours are rumours" eight days ago, yet he is also still to nail his colours to the mast in the form of signing a new deal.
He knows how to nail his colours to the mast when the enemy are closing in.
Or if Wills wants to nail his colours to the mast while in Scotland, he could always have a Rangers or Celtic waistcoat run up.