Flag Chart Pattern – Best Way To Trade Flags 101

A flag chart pattern is a continuation chart that depicts the market’s countertrend movement, followed by a sharp price movement.

The counter-trend movement appears as a minor channel that swings in the opposite direction of the dominant trend.

For example, if there is an uptrend, a flag chart pattern should have a downward slope inside the parallel channel, and vice versa.

Table of Contents

Identification of Flag Chart Pattern

  • There should be approximately vertical price movement, referred to as a flag pole.
  • Two parallel lines move in the opposite direction of the current trend to form the body of the flag.
  • The breakout of the flag pattern triggers the continuance of a predominant trend.
  • The bottom (in case of an uptrend) or top (in case of a downtrend) of the flag pattern should not extend past the flagpole’s middle.
  • A Flag Pattern can be bullish (Bull Flag), or bearish (Bear Flag), depending on the prevailing trend.
  • Flag patterns formed during an uptrend are used to forecast an upward breakout (resistance trend level), whereas flag patterns formed during a downtrend are used to forecast a downward breakout (resistance trend level) (support trend level).
Flag Pattern
Flag – Bullish and Bearish

Bullish Flag Pattern

A Bullish Flag chart pattern consists of a sharp move (flag pole) followed by a brief retracement period.

This retracement action creates a parallel channel with a narrow range of lower highs and lower lows.

Breakout of the resistance level suggests the continuation of the prior upswing trend.

The steeper the flagpole, the stronger the breakout movement could be.

Bullish flag is one of the most successful chart pattern, which offers good risk to reward trades in trading.

Bullish Flag Pattern
Bullish Flag

Bearish Flag Pattern

A Bearish Flag chart pattern comprises a steep decline (flag pole), along with a brief counter-trend movement.

Higher highs and higher lows make up the flag-shaped counter-trend movement.

Breakout of a support level implies the continuance of an ongoing downtrend.

As previously stated, a steeper flagpole signifies the strength of the subsequent movement.

Bearish flag is a successful stock chart pattern that is commonly utilized in currency, commodities, stock, and cryptocurrency trading.

Bearish Flag Pattern
Bearish Flag

How to Trade Using a Flag Chart Pattern

Trades can be executed once the resistance (for long entry) or support (for short entry) levels have been clearly breached.

For Bullish Flag

To enter a long position, wait for the price to break through the resistance level.

The breakout movement would be proportional to the height of the flagpole. Additionally, it can serve as a take-profit objective.

To place stop loss, traders use opposite end of the pattern.

Bull Flag

For Bearish Flag

A trader can place a short entry once the price is able to break through the support level.

The height of the flagpole would be used to calculate the take profit.

The upper edge of the flag would be used for stop loss placement.

Bearish Flag Pattern
Bear Flag

Limitations of Flag Pattern

For a flag pattern to confirm the continuation signal, there must be a recent sharp price movement, followed by a minor retracement.

A clean breakout validates the market’s prevailing trend.

It is better to avoid small breakouts with long shadows.

In a sideways market, flag patterns do not work.

A Flag Pattern suggests a continuation, rather than a reversal.


  • A Flag stock chart Pattern can be bullish or bearish. Flags can appear in any time frame, although they typically consist of 15 to 20 price bars.

  • To increase the chances of success, traders integrate this pattern with other types of technical analysis.

  • When there is an uptrend, a flag is termed a bullish flag. In the case of a decline, a flag is termed a bearish flag.

  • When markets are trending, they usually take short breaks in the form of flags and pennants, making the Flag Chart Pattern an excellent pattern in both bull and bear markets.
Author is Senior Technical Analyst
At Bulls Arena Trading
New Delhi

Yash Nagarkoti

Yash brings extensive trading knowledge and expertise in technical analysis. Specializing in short-term to medium-term trading, his research spans the Forex market to global stock markets. Since 2016, Yash has been a member of the bulls arena trading Technical Analysis Research Team.