Flags were first used for signaling battle formations, they were later set to identify leaders. The Roman legion standards were not flags originally but heavy symbols, like an eagle or lion, which were later changed to cloth flags with tails, which were easier to carry and more flexible to follow. In the Middle Ages flags were used to identify each leader and set alliances. When going into battle with various clans. Later it began by symbolizing each country and colonies were given similar flags representing their original ruler.
Flag signaling was used between ships when direct communication was difficult or dangerous, since then all ships are legally required to carry a country flag.
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