Definition of nail (or pin) one's colours to the mast in English:

nail (or pin) one's colours to the mast

phrase

  • Declare one's beliefs or intentions openly.

    ‘they nailed their colours to the mast of youth revolt’
    • ‘I think the price probably is a bit of a gamble, but they must be confident because they have nailed their colours to the mast.’
    • ‘It might have been better if we hadn't nailed our colours to the mast without being completely happy with them.’
    • ‘If he comes back before the courts for breaching his referral order or committing another offence, he will have nailed his colours to the mast.’
    • ‘I have some new business ideas and I want to play around with them for a bit, before I nail their colors to the mast.’
    • ‘Although tongues are wagging in every pub, shop and café it's only the bravest souls who will nail their colours to the mast in public.’
    • ‘Few companies nail their colours to the mast on some new technique or format without getting the support of at least a handful of other companies and possibly a committee.’
    • ‘Is it any surprise that ruthless people would nail their colours to the mast of the what they considered was the winning side?’
    • ‘I have the chance, finally, to come off the fence and out of the closet, stretch my philosophical wings, nail my colours to the mast, and proudly declare: I am a relativist; je suis un relativiste; ich bin ein Relativist.’
    • ‘Such a book may seem a strange choice for one who has so firmly nailed her colours to the mast of comedy - indeed, it may seem a strange choice full stop.’
    • ‘Having well and truly nailed her colours to the mast by leaving home, Christine had a hard act to follow in Nancy, the apple of her dad's eye, who had wanted nothing else but to work the land.’