Flag-carrier meaning

An airline owned by or strongly identified with a nation.
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An airline or merchant vessel registered in a given country.
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A person carrying a standard or flag, usually at sporting events and parades, previously on the battlefield.
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(business) A transportation company, such as a shipping or airline company, that is registered in a given state.
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(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."

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A national airline (typically having the flag, or other national insignia, on the tail)
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(military, nautical) An aircraft carrier serving as a flagship.
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