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Arriving at the airpot, I was flagged. A customs official rummaged through the clothing in my suitcase.

Does "flag" simply means "make a signal/gesture" or especially means "make a signal with a flag"? Perhaps in the airport they do use a flag? I have no experience.

Thanks to anyone who offers advice.
  • JustKate

    Senior Member
    No - I guess they can, but in my experience they don't do this. "Flagging" could mean an actual mark of some sort - for example, in a document you can use highlights or a note to "flag" a section or a sentence for more attention. In an airport, this could be a tag placed on your suitcase. But it doesn't have to be. It could be as simple as one person saying to another, "I'm flagging this bag for inspection."


    Senior Member
    English - American
    In this case flagged means "marked or selected for attention", and the "mark" may only be a mental note in the mind of one inspector. That flag (mental note) might be passed along to someone else by almost any means: a nod, a gesture, a chalk mark, or even an actual flag (but I doubt this). My email program allows me to "flag" certain messages, but the flag is just a check-box next to the message.
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