run it up the flagpole (and see who salutes)

run it up the flagpole (and see who salutes)

cliché To test out an idea in order to gauge interest or gain feedback. It's a good idea, but you should run it up the flagpole before you pitch it to the board of directors. A: "How do you think employees would react to this policy?" B: "Well, let's run it up the flagpole and see who salutes."
See also: flagpole, run, see, up, who
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

run it up the flagpole (and see who salutes), let's

Let’s try this out and see what the reaction is. This cliché, alluding to raising an actual flag up a mast or flagpole, is one of a number of phrases coined in the mid-1900s in the Madison Avenue advertising industry for trying out ads, campaigns, slogans, and the like. Another is that’s how the cookie crumbles. The New Statesman so identified it on March 25, 1966: “The decision was made—in the admen’s jargon that comes naturally to Tory strategists—to run it up the flagpole and see if anyone saluted.” It may be dying out, replaced by the simpler run it by/ past someone. For example, “Bill wanted me to run his new plan by you and see what you think of it,” or “You’d better run it by the teacher before you order any supplies.”
See also: flagpole, run, see, up, who
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer