show a/the white flag

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show a/the white flag

To offer a sign of surrender or defeat; to yield or give in. After the prosecutors brought forward their newest evidence, the defendant showed the white flag and agreed to the plea bargain. We've been in negotiations for weeks, but it looks like the other company might finally be ready to show a white flag.
See also: flag, show, white

white flag, show the

Also, hang out or hoist the white flag . Surrender, yield, as in Our opponents held all the cards tonight, so we showed the white flag and left early. This expression alludes to the white flag indicating a surrender in battle, a custom apparently dating from Roman times and adopted as an international symbol of surrender or truce. [Late 1600s]
See also: show, white
References in periodicals archive ?
It would have been like showing the white flag again, especially after not performing in (the All-Ireland final in) 2004.
The real explanation is more likely to concern keeping out of the red than showing the white flag.
Showing the white flag guarantees a self-fulfilling prophecy and Brown's biggest task is to convince colleagues the Government's down but not out if he's to have any chance with the electorate It's got to the point where I was amazed when a cabinet minister sounded optimistic, spelling out why Cameron is weak - few ideas, dangerously right-wing - instead of scanning the job ads.