By: Caitlin Patrick

Flags are one of the most important components to NASCAR. With them Officials are able to communicate with the drivers. If one fails to listen to them, it could be disastrous.

Here is a quick guide to understand what the eight different flags mean.




This signifies the begin of the race. It is also shown during restarts. As soon as the drivers see this flag, they accelerate to the track speed. The lead driver cannot be passed until the green flag starts waving.



This indicated that the race must stop immediately, it doesn’t matter where the cars are on the track. This happens when there has been a large wreck and officials need more time to clear it. Bad weather can also cause a red flag; rain, thunderstorms, etc.


Signals a caution. This means that all drivers must slow and form a line behind the pace car. This could happen because of a wreck, there could be debris on the track or a competition caution.



Signals that the lead driver has begun the last lap of the race.



This iconic flag signifies someone has crossed the finish line and the race has ended.




When a driver is given a black flag it means they must answer a concern from NASCAR. They have five laps to respond. A number of things can cause a black flag including, failing to maintain the minimum speed, dropping debris onto the track or speeding on pit road.



Black with a White Stripe

If the driver fails to respond to a black flag and pit within five laps, the flagman will wave this flag. This means scoring has stopped for that driver until further notice.


Blue with a Yellow Stripe

This flag is given to drivers not on the lead lap. It means slower cars must yield to lead-lap cars that are passing.