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Why are there so many different flags in racing? What do they mean?

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Flags are used by marshals on the circuit to quickly warn drivers of problems ahead of them.
Flags are still used as a backup in case radio links fail.
Black and White Chequered Flag
Checkered Flag
This flag is waved to signal the end of the race as the winning driver crosses the finish line! This flag continues to be waved to each car finishing behind the winner.

Red FlagRed Flag
This is waved to signal the race has been stopped due to poor conditions making driving dangerous, or because of an accident where a damaged vehicle is lying in a dangerous position for other drivers.

Yellow FlagYellow Flag
This is shown to drivers to warn them to slow down and not to over take other cars because there is a dangerous situation ahead.
If two of these flags are waved the drivers must prepare to stop racing if necessary.

Blue FlagBlue Flag
This flag is shown to drivers when a faster driver is approaching them and trying to over take. Only lapped cars have to give way to a faster driver, if after being shown three blue flags they have still not done so they risk being penalised.

Black FlagBlack Flag
This flag is shown to a driver to tell him to enter the pits immediately.
This is probably an indication that he has broken the rules and may be disqualified!

Red and Yellow Stripped FlagRed and Yellow Stripped Flag
This flag warns drivers of a slippery track due to oil or water.

Green FlagGreen Flag
This flag means the track has been cleared of any dangers
and drivers can proceed at racing speeds.

Black Flag with Orange Disk Black Flag with Orange Disk
This flag is displayed with a car number to warn the driver that the car has a mechanical problem and to return to the pits.

Black and White Diagonal HalvesBlack and White Diagonal Halves
This flag is waved at a driver who is behaving unfairly and unsportsman like.
If he continues behaving in this way he will be shown a black flag.

White Flag
This flag warns drivers of slow moving vehicles on the track like safety cars.

Black and Yellow Quarters
When drivers see this flag they must slow down and must not overtake other vehicles.

Yellow and Green ChevronYellow and Green Chevron
This signals a false start.

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