flag of truce: a sign of negotiation or a sign of surrender?

NewAmerica

Banned
Mandarin
As I read "flag of truce" is a white flag, my first reaction is that it is a sign of surrender (in Chinese culture). But the definition shows it simply a sign of negotiation. Are you native English speakers aware that in Chinese culture it is a sign of surrender today*?

***************
flag of truce (in British):N a white flag indicating the peaceful intent of its bearer or an invitation to an enemy to negotiate.
flag of truce (in America) a white flag shown to an enemy to indicate a desire to confer or parley.

Source: Collins

Additional source (from which I search the meaning of "flag of truce." It is a pic from wiki)


*: In ancient China, it was indeed a sign of negotiation, too.
 
  • Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    As I read "flag of truce" is a white flag, my first reaction is that it is a sign of surrender (in Chinese culture). But the definition shows it simply a sign of negotiation.
    Yes, it's both. You wave a white flag, the other side waits for you to come out and start talking, and when you start talking you tell them you want to surrender.:)
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Are you native English speakers aware that in Chinese culture it is a sign of surrender today*?
    No. That could cause some misunderstanding. In English it remains an indication of wanting to talk - the actual meaning does not become apparent until the talking starts.

    Cross-posted with Barque. It may not show a wish to surrender. It might be to discuss the evacuation of casualties by both sides, or to suggest that the two sides would do better to work together against a common enemy.
     
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