false flag

fawlsflag ]SHOW IPA


noun

An attack or other hostile action that obscures the identity of the participants carrying out the action while implicating another group or nation as the perpetrator (often used attributively):Evidence suggests that the covert operation was a false flag.The false flag terrorist attack lured the military into a hasty response.a misrepresentation of affiliation or motivation or a false equivalence deliberately put forth to manipulate the context, perception, or frame of an action, object, or argument (often used attributively):Public schools are losing tax dollars to private schools under the false flag of school vouchers expanding parental choice.a flag flown to disguise the nationality or affiliation of a vessel, vehicle, or base of operations:Surviving sailors reported that the privateer was flying a false flag on approach and attacked as soon as cannons were in range.

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