Flags and their Meanings
Flags are used by the Corner Marshalls and the Starter to relay information to the drivers while on course. Different organizations or events may have slightly different flag rules, it is important to know the rules for the event you are working. The rules listed below are those typically used for all Autobahn Member sessions.
There are two categories of flags, command flags and information flags.
Some flags the flagger will make the determination when to display, others will only be shown when told to.
Command flags give drivers information that he/she MUST react to. Failure to properly respond to these flags may cause dangerous situations and could result in disciplinary action.
Green Flag- A waving green flag is displayed from the start to indicate the moment that a race has started. Passing is allowed the moment the flag is waved. Individuals may be requested to display a green by Race Control.
- A green flag will only be displayed by a flagger when asked to do so by Race Control
Yellow Flag- The yellow flag indicates a situation in which caution should be used. It may be displayed in one of two ways.
Stationary This indicates that a hazard is present somewhere off the racing surface. It may be a disabled car, an emergency vehicle, debris or personnel. Caution should be used, a driver should slow down and no passing is allowed. A stationary flag may be requested at the upstream station or from Race Control. A stationary flag can be displayed at the upstream location by request.
Waving A waving yellow flag is used to indicate a danger that is on the racing surface. A driver should use extreme caution, slow down and be prepared to alter his normal racing line. No passing is allowed.
- Yellow flags should be displayed immediately when needed as decided by the flagger. THIS IS ALWAYS THE FIRST THING YOU SHOULD DO IF THERE IS AN INCIDENT.
Double Stationary Yellow- A double stationary yellow is used to indicate the complete track is under a yellow situation and all drivers should slow down, no passing is allowed. This may be used for pace laps or when an incident has happened on track that requires the field to be controlled for the safety of the Safety Team and Corner Marshalls. While under a double yellow, a corner station may use a single yellow flag, and any other flag necessary, to inform drivers of a particular situation within that portion of the track.
- Double stationary yellow flags will only be displayed when told to do so by Race Control.
Red Flag- A waving red flag will be waved at all corners when a serious situation has developed on the course which may require the Safety Team to respond immediately. Drivers should gradually come to a complete stop at the next manned corner station and await a signal to proceed to the pits slowly.
- Red Flags are only displayed when told to do so by Race Control.
Black Flag- A black flag can be used in two ways, from the starter or at all corner stations.
Starter The black flag may be waved and pointed by the starter, and a designated black flag corner station, at a specific car that then needs to come to pit lane immediately at the conclusion of that lap. This may be accompanied by a number board. That driver must report to Race Control or the Chief Steward to find out the reason. A closed (furled) flag is displayed/pointed at a car only at the request of Race Control.
All Stations When all stations display a waving black flag, drivers are to slow down and proceed to pit lane. An incident has occurred on track that needs attention.
- Black Flags are only displayed when told to do so by Race Control.
Mechanical Black Flag/Meatball- The stationary mechanical black flag is used to inform a driver that he must come into pit lane, a problem exists on the car that may create a dangerous situation. If a car is leaking fluid or is on fire, a Corner Marshall may wave driver off the track in order to prevent getting fluids on the racing surface.
- Mechanical Flags are only displayed when told to do so by Race Control.
Checkered Flag- The waving checkered flag indicates the race or session is over, all cars should use this lap as a cool down lap and enter pit lane at the first chance. The last corner station may provide a backup checkers to ensure all drivers have seen it.
- Checkered Flags are only displayed when told to do so by Race Control.
These flags simply provide valuable information to the drivers, a reaction to these flags may not be needed.
Blue Flag- The blue flag (passing flag) is used to inform drivers that a faster car may be trying, or will soon be trying, to pass. This can be displayed stationary if the pass may occur within the next two corners, or it may be waved if the pass is in progress or if a group of cars will be passing. Generally, during a race this flag is only used when the leaders begin passing cars that are going to be a lap down.
CHASE RACE EXCEPTION: A Chase Race has faster cars starting behind slower ones. While there is no passing in the corners, a blue flag should be displayed to a slower car even if it is for position.
- Blue flags are displayed when appropriate as determined by the flaggers. Blue flags do not need to be called in over the radio.
Surface/Debris Flag- The stationary surface flag informs drivers that fluids or small debris may be on the racing surface. A driver should be aware that traction may be compromised.
- Surface flags are displayed when appropriate as determined by the flaggers.
White Flag- The white flag can be used in two ways.
At a corner station This is to inform a driver that he may be rapidly approaching a slow moving vehicle. This should be displayed two stations prior to the slow vehicle.
Starters Stand When the white flag is waved from the starter, one lap remains in the race.
- White flags should be displayed whenever the slow moving vehicle is within 2 stations past your position. White flags should be called in on the radio when the are put out but do not need to be reported when taken down unless it is taken down because the vehicle has resumed near full speed.
Emergency Flag (E flag) -The emergency vehicle flag indicates that an emergency vehicle is on course. It is to be displayed stationary for two stations prior to the vehicles location. Drivers should be aware; they may pass the vehicle if it is safe to do so.