Why Beige Flags Are TikTok’s Latest Obsession

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beige flag tiktok.jpg
beige flag tiktok.jpg

In the lexicon of modern dating, it’s widely known that green flags mean a prospective partner passes muster and red flags are to be avoided. But where do “beige flags” fall? In one of TikTok’s latest trends, users are posting videos about their partners’ so-called beige flags, which are attributes that are neither good nor bad, but still give reason for pause.

With over 570 million cumulative views for the hashtag #beigeflag on the platform, the quick 6-second videos feature overlaying white text revealing a partner’s “beige flag” traits with a pleasant lo-fi jazz song in the background. It’s “something that’s neither good nor bad, but makes you pause for a minute when you notice it and then you just continue on,” explained one TikToker, referencing the Urban Dictionary definition.

Another user on TikTok explained, “My boyfriend’s beige flag is that he sets timers instead of alarms. It’s midnight and he needs to wake up at 6? He’ll set a six hour timer.” Several comments said this was a particularly helpful example: “This made me truly understand what a beige flag is,” reads one.

Other examples of beige flags range from partners randomly throwing surprise themed parties (that no one else is invited to), to having “zero rizz” (translation: zero swag). But the trend doesn’t stop at romantic partners. TikTokers are calling out everything from their best friends who don’t respond to texts for weeks at a time to their cats’ meowing patterns.

Although the trend is currently picking up steam, videos on TikTok describing “beige flags” were being posted as early as last year. Urban Dictionary defined “beige flags” back in September 2022. This follows the larger social media trend of posting red flag emojis alongside off-putting behavior, which began back in 2021. The “red flag” trend is currently making another comeback on TikTok, with over 2 million videos of users showing their reactions to the platform’s automated red flag stickers.

As more users catch on to the trend, the clear definition of the beige categorization may be getting muddied. In the comments, many people are pointing out that some videos are confusing beige flags with orange-leaning flags, or full-on red or green flags.

One viral tweet with over 130,000 likes calls out a TikTok that explains that a boyfriend’s beige flag is that he gets impatient at restaurants and helps the waitress bring the plates to their table. “Girl that’s not a beige flag, that’s not even a red flag, that’s an air raid siren,” the tweet said in response.

On the bright side, those who are sharing their partners’ best qualities that read less as beige than as a verdant green—like their partner’s taking the Waze app seriously, supporting their TikTok pages, and being socially bubbly—offer something wholesome to watch at a time when there’s plenty of negativity to go around on social media.

“Tiktok’s beige flags are the greenest, most insanely healthy and amazing flags I have ever seen in my life,” tweeted one user.

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Write to Mariah Espada at [email protected].

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