nail (one's) colours to the mast

(redirected from nail my 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 ?
But I'm going to have to nail my colours to the mast now and say that I hope Villa get through.
For 2011 I'm going to nail my colours to the mast, well never mind the metaphor, I'm going to tell everyone how quick I want to go 26 miles around Belfast.
I'm going to nail my colours to the mast right now and predict that lime green will become the new black, David Cameron will become the new Prime Minister and Newcastle United will win the FA Cup in 2015.
It's judgements like that make me long to nail my colours to the mast of political correctness no matter what its shortcomings.
Perhaps I should nail my colours to the mast here and say I hope Castleford stay up.
Biley said: "I don't want to nail my colours to the mast full time at Spalding but I don't have any intentions of leaving.
I don't have the same intellect or historical knowledge that he has of the European Union, but as a fellow patriot I would like to nail my colours to the mast and give him my unwavering support to oppose the grotesque monolith of the EU.
I must nail my colours to the mast here and say that your wife is right and I wholeheartedly agree with her.
I will nail my colours to the mast now and say now that whether we get it right in primary can partly be judged by, in the medium and long term, how many youngsters stay on at 14 to 16.