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flag carrier (plural flag carriers)

  1. A person carrying a standard or flag, usually at sporting events and parades, previously on the battlefield.
  2. (business) A transportation company, such as a shipping or airline company, that is registered in a given state
  3. (politics) A strong supporter of a cause, or perhaps the strongest and most visible supporter of said cause.
    "Bill was the flag carrier of the movement to improve inner city education."
  4. A national airline (typically having the flag, or other national insignia, on the tail)
  5. (military, nautical) An aircraft carrier serving as a flagship