nail (one's) colours to the mast

(redirected from nailed 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 ?
And although he has vowed not to look past the former WBA 'regular' light-heavyweight champion, who got to this position with a unanimous decision victory over Rob Brant back in October, 'Mundo' has firmly nailed his colours to the mast regarding the showdown between 'Saint' Groves and 'Junior.
Gazette readers will know Middlesbrough Mayor Ray Mallon has nailed his colours to the mast by becoming one of our Dementia Friends, following an awareness session with street wardens and bus station security staff.
The St Etienne head coach is understood to be on the Magpies' radar, but has nailed his colours to the mast at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.
Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman has nailed his colours to the mast by saying he believes proposed changes to Calderdale and Huddersfield Accident and Emergency departments are financially driven.
But yesterday McCoy nailed his colours to the mast of Colbert Station, who is having just the sixth outing of his life in the world's greatest steeplechase, leaving Richie McLernon on board Sunnyhillboy.
CRAIG THOMSON nailed his colours to the mast when he revealed he will be supporting anybody but England and the Republic of Ireland at Euro 2012.
HOWARD WEBB has nailed his colours to the mast by buying FIVE season tickets for next term - and not, as some Premier League fans playfully suggest, at Manchester United.
The owner has very much nailed his colours to the mast in that respect.
The boss of one of the biggest companies in the world has taken a stance, nailed his colours to the mast and, in so doing, surprised most of those concerned.
The government's natural resources commissioner, Professor Tim Lang, The Grocer columnist, has already nailed his colours to the mast, famously announcing earlier this year that he intends to make drinking bottled water as "unfashionable as smoking".
The Prime Minister has nailed his colours to the mast with this speech.
AT long last, Kenny Miller has nailed his colours to the mast - and they're not gold and black.
The latter nailed his colours to the mast for the Arkle Trophy at Cheltenham in March when he followed up his fences debut victory at the East Sussex track by landing the Southern FM Novices' Chase.
The latter nailed his colours to the mast for the Arkle Trophy at Cheltenham in March when he followed up his fencing debut victory at the East Sussex track by landing the Southern FM Novices' Chase.
Joe Riley has at last nailed his colours to the mast in his column this week.