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(With) flying colors

Created date

November 24th, 2009

Particularly for military units of the 19th century, a regiment s flag (or colors) was a symbol of pride and a sacred object to those who fought under it. Losing the flag to your enemy was a sign of defeat, but if you came off the battlefield with your colors still flying, you more than likely scored a victory. Today, we use the phrase in reference to the successful completion of just about anything from a physical exam to a bar exam. "He passed his exam with flying colors."