Best Soccer Referee Flags

Soccer referee flags are an important communication tool between the referee and assistant referees. Here’s how to pick the best ones.

What color should soccer referee flags be?

Traditionally, the senior assistant referee carried a red flag, and the junior assistant referee carried a yellow flag.

Most flag sets today have matching patterns on both flags. They’re usually yellow and orange or yellow and red. Common designs are either checkmarks or four quadrants.

It’s generally more professional for the assistants to use the same set of flags instead of mixing and matching.

Should you buy electronic flags?

Many professional assistant referee flags have a beeper to signal the referee so the referee can’t miss a flag when a player violates the FIFA rules. These flags are largely falling out of favor.

Beeper flags were introduced long before headset radios. When using headset radios, there’s really no reason to use beeper flags except as a backup.

If you’re not doing professional games or college games where headsets are common, there’s usually no need for beeper flags. If you’re not in a loud stadium, you can yell to the referee, and either the referee or players will hear you.

What else should you consider?

There are three things you want to get when you choose your flags.

First, get swivel handles. It makes it much easier to signal.

Next, make sure the flags have a good grip. The smooth plastic handles make it easy to drop your flag.

Finally, get removable flags. You can take them off to clean them or replace them if necessary.

For all of the above reasons, skip the cheap flags with wood handles in the Official Sports starter set.

Caring for Your Flags

There are several steps soccer referees can take to make their flags last longer.

First, get a flag case and use it. This prevents your flags from getting dirty inside of your bag especially if you also toss in your ref shoes.

Second, be careful about how you place your flags in your bag. If you put weight on them, the flag sticks will bend. Don’t pack things on top of your flags, and be careful about how you set your bag down.

Third, your flags will collect dirt that you kick up while running and when you place them on the ground. Wash them regularly. The cloth flags can go in the washing machine with your uniforms.

Finally, if your flags get wet, make sure you dry them before you pack them away to avoid mold.

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