Racing flags are traditionally used in auto racing and similar motorsports to indicate track condition and to communicate important messages to drivers. Typically, the starter, sometimes the grand marshal of a race, waves the flags atop a flag stand near the start/finish line. Track marshals are also stationed at observation posts along the race track in order to communicate both local and course-wide conditions to drivers. Alternatively, some race tracks employ lights to supplement the primary flag at the start/finish line.
The chequered flag (or checkered flag) is displayed at the start/finish line to indicate that the race is officially finished. At some circuits, the first flag point will display a repeat chequered flag (usually on the opposite side of the circuit). The flag is commonly associated with the winner of a race, as they are the first driver to "take" (in other words, drive past) the chequered flag.
Upon seeing the chequered flag and crossing the finish line, drivers are required to slow to a safe speed, and return to their garage, parc fermé, or paddock, depending on the applicable regulations of the series.
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