Conventionally, flags are explained as symbols of group solidarity that achieve force through ritual processes. Alternatively, flags may be seen as symbols with positive or negative associations derived from our experiences with physical space. While this article accepts these interpretations, it also argues that they need to be augmented. Flag meaning is not entirely a social or linguistic construction because there is a link between flag displays and our inherent predispositions to cues about social rank. Our evolved social intelligence makes us sensitive to the topographic features of flag displays that signal relationships of dominance and subordination.