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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

white flag, hang out/show the

Surrender; give up, yield. In military circles the white flag betokened surrender by 1600 or so. “A ship garnished with white flags of peace,” wrote Philemon Holland in his 1600 translation of the Roman historian Livy.
See also: hang, out, show, white
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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