The new trend, which began this month and typically follows the format of a line of text and multiple red flag emojis, started with Black Twitter users mostly sharing their dating red flags, according to CNET and The Mary Sue, as the term is most often used to discuss disagreeable behaviours or deal-breakers in a relationship, of both the romantic and platonic varieties.
However, as defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a red flag is used to “identify or draw attention to a problem or issue to be dealt with” or as a “warning sign,” with the trend morphing into a way of sharing general red flags.
Over the past week, thousands of users have posted tweets - both jokingingly and earnestly - dedicated to highlighting unfavourable behaviours or deal-breakers, with many of these sentiments making their way to other platforms including Instagram and TikTok.
When it comes to romantic relationships, there are countless red flags, according to social media, with users calling out everyone from those who “justify their sh*tty behaviour by saying it’s because of their astrological sign” to partners who “don’t send you flowers regularly”.
“When he’s friends with all his exes,” another user wrote alongside the red flag emojis, while someone else said a red flag is “when he doesn’t laugh at your jokes”.
doesn't think of me when he looks at the moon 🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩
— girlfriend from hell (@lunatically) October 13, 2021
when he wants a relationship but doesn’t want to commit 🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩
— 𝚋𝚊𝚒𝚕𝚎𝚢✨ (@Bailey_munoz3) October 12, 2021
The meme is also frequently seen in the format of quotes, with users following the trend by posting sentences that they have deemed red flag-worthy.
“‘Reputation is Taylor’s worst album,’” one person tweeted alongside the red flag emojis, while another person suggested that: “I like pineapple on my pizza,” is the red flag.
“let's just go with the flow ” 🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩
— Calvin | Kiwi (@Kiwiuh) October 14, 2021
As with most social media trends, brands have since joined in, with book publisher Random House describing it as a red flag when an individual says: “‘I haven’t read a book since high school,’” while beer company Sam Adams said: “‘I don’t like craft beer’” constitutes a red flag.
Ryanair also shared its take, with the airline claiming that “clapping when the plane lands” is red flag behaviour.
"You're too old to play with LEGO sets" 🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩
— LEGO (@LEGO_Group) October 14, 2021
"I'm not a Crocs person"🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩
— It's Croctober! (@Crocs) October 13, 2021
"The HISTORY Channel is only for dads" 🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩
— HISTORY (@HISTORY) October 14, 2021
“You don’t need another pair of Abercrombie jeans” 🚩 🚩 🚩 🚩 🚩 🚩 🚩 🚩 🚩 🚩 🚩 🚩 🚩 🚩 🚩 🚩 🚩 🚩 🚩 🚩 🚩 🚩 🚩 🚩 🚩 🚩 🚩 🚩 🚩 🚩 🚩
— Abercrombie & Fitch (@Abercrombie) October 14, 2021
“When me hear someone say they don’t like cookies,” Cookie Monster added.
According to CNET, Twitter has reported a 455 per cent increase in the last week of tweets using the red flag emoji in the US, while Tuesday alone saw 1.5m red-flag-emoji tweets globally.