One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A violet-flowered iris that grows in marshy places and wet meadows.
Genus Iris, family Iridaceae: several species, in particular the larger blue flag (I. versicolor) and the slender blue flag (I. prismatica)
2A European award for beaches based on cleanliness and safety.
- ‘Thanks to its three blue flags for clean and safe beaches it has become a surfing and bathing paradise, and even sports the odd nudist beach - although whether that will be a major draw for them remains to be seen.’
- ‘It has been awarded the blue flag emblem so many times for cleanliness; surely that speaks volumes alone.’
- ‘Sell-by dates on food, rest breaks for workers, water quality standards, blue flags for beaches, controls on animal testing, and genetically modified food labelling all have their origins in European law.’
- ‘There are no blue flags flying yet, but if the improvement continues, we could see blue flags flying by 2002 or soon after.’
- ‘Southend was one of a record number of 17 beaches in the region to proudly fly the blue flag this year - a major boost to summer tourism, assuring day trippers the water they were swimming in was clean and safe.’
- ‘The big, big, wide sands of Blackpool beach have been awarded a blue flag by the important people in charge of Britains beaches.’
- ‘The awards scheme, which began in 2001, is the equivalent of the blue flag award for beaches.’
- ‘The Waterkeeper worries that all the pomp and circumstance surrounding the blue flags is detracting from the major task at hand - cleaning up the lake.’
- ‘If all goes well, the flags will be flying over those beaches that pass the test by next summer - just the start of what the Environmental Defence's program director hopes will be a flurry of blue flags across the country.’
- ‘The blue flag award is based on a number of different criteria including water quality, environmental education, environmental management and safety and services.’
- ‘You know the sort of thing; local school fête raises money for hospice, beach wins blue flag award for third year running.’
- ‘The strict guidelines state that beaches that hold the blue flag must ensure excellent water quality for swimmers, the provision of litter bins and the banning of driving and unauthorised camping.’
- ‘‘The West Beach had a blue flag for a time in the 1990s but lost it when water standards were raised,’ she said.’
- ‘It is also a beautiful place to swim and has won countless blue flags for the cleanliness of its water.’
- ‘In South Africa management of beaches would be able to apply until June 29 for blue flag status for the first official season.’
- ‘Italy's Adriatic coast is justifiably famous, and Le Marche has almost 200 km of long sandy beaches and coves, with several resorts flying blue flags.’
- ‘But less people have gone there in the past year because the blue flag is gone.’
- ‘We look forward to many more blue flags and congratulate the Local Authorities for their great work at Mutton Island and other locations.’
- ‘Despite the incident Kerry beaches managed to retain 13 blue flags which are awarded each year to areas that have attained environmental excellence.’
- ‘He marked Kerry's tremendous achievement in earning no less than 13 blue flags for the high quality of its beaches by hoisting the prestigious flag on the beach in his native Caherciveen.’
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