nail (one's) colours to the mast

(redirected from nailed their 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 you're right, while a great number on social media have nailed their colours to the mast, there will be a great number of fans who will still go.
Some nailed their colours to the mast as conscientious objectors, refusing for reasons of conscience, perhaps on religious (such as Quakers) or philosophical grounds, to kill or harm other human beings.
That neutrality would be fatally compromised if they remained members of an organisation who have nailed their colours to the mast.
The Welsh Labour Party nailed their colours to the mast early on with their obsessive focus on punishing the Westminster Government rather than focus on the local issues here in Wales.
Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi have nailed their colours to the mast and they clash with Britain's.
Kevin Blackwell and Sam Ellis (manager and assistant) were desperate to keep me but the club wanted me out for financial reasons and nailed their colours to the mast on that one.
PADDY POWER have nailed their colours to the mast in this afternoon's tight encounter between Fiji and Canada in Cardiff.
The Government decided to take a tough position on pay and firmly nailed their colours to the mast.
Both in their delegation (with the Examiner) to see the Health Secretary and in their calls for the assessment, the Members of Parliament have nailed their colours to the mast.
Scunthorpe had nailed their colours to the mast with just 45 seconds on the clock when Calvo-Garcia blasted a 30-yarder wide of Tony Williams's post.
The punters nailed their colours to the mast last season when the Taysiders were docked 25 points - and it was the same on Saturday when 1000 of them formed the bulk of the 1473 crowd at Stirling and headed back up the road celebrating a hard-fought 2-1 victory.
Kevin Blackwell and Sam Ellis at Sheffield United were desperate to keep me, but the club wanted me out for financial reasons and nailed their colours to the mast on that one.
Labour MPs nailed their colours to the mast when former Labour Party spokesman Alistair Campbell announced to the electorate: "We do not do God.
But Celtic and Rangers have nailed their colours to the mast of the Second Division champions.
English rivals Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea, not to mention local rivals Everton, have all nailed their colours to the mast, calling for Liverpool to be given a wild card place when the competition begins.