false flag

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English[edit]

Noun[edit]

false flag (plural false flags)

  1. (nautical) A ruse, in the days of sail, in which an attacking ship would fly the colours of its enemy until close enough to open fire.
  2. (espionage, military, politics) A diversionary or propaganda tactic of deceiving an adversary into thinking that an operation was carried out by another party.
    • 2017, John Oliver, “Trump vs. Truth”, in Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, season 4, episode 1, written by Tim Carvell; Josh Gondelman; Dan Gurewitch; Jeff Maurer; Ben Silva; Will Tracy; Jill Twiss; Seena Vali; Julie Weiner, HBO, Warner Bros. Television:
      Now, that is not just offensive, it’s stupid. If the government had actually hired child actors, there is no way their stage parents would have stopped talking about it. “Well, he didn’t get the Tide commercial, but he did book a leading role in a government-sponsored false-flag attack! It’s the same director who did the moon landing! We’re very excited!”

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