The British Idiom – Nail your colours to the mast
Definition of Nail your colours to the mast
As in the idiom, “true colours”, a ship’s colours showed which side it belonged to. If the colours were removed, it indicated that the ship had surrendered in battle. A ship that was determined never to surrender, would have its colours nailed to the mast so they could never be removed. It is from this that we get the idiom, to nail your colours to the mast.
Examples of Usage of Nail your colours to the mast
Even if it costs me my job, I’m not going to set aside my beliefs. No! I’m going to nail my colours to the mast. You ought to have nailed your colours to the mast, and have fought while a timber remained on your ship.
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