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Little Red Marker Flags In The Woods


reveritt
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While geocaching, I have sometimes seen litle red flags stuck in the ground. These are made of a few square inches of red plastic attached to a thin wire. I have seen similar fllags used to mark the location of buried cables at construction sites, and for other obvious purposes. I have been told that they are also used to mark the location of human remains at airplance crash sites (delightful).

 

It's not clear why these would appear, singly or in small groups, in the middle of the woods--off the trail. I have encountered this numerous times, and have looked closely to see if there is some object of interest, but nothing is apparent.

 

Any insights to offer?

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Archaeologists also use flagging tape to mark areas they have already tested.

 

 

Geez, too early. Usually when Archaeologists mark a site, it's by tying flagging tape to branches, and sticking the branch in the ground. Or sometimes we use the pre made flags that are on thin metal stakes. I've never seen the use of cable and flags in the field. Sorry about that. Haven't had enough coffee yet.

Edited by Rdut&Gabwp
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..or to mark the spot where a particular plant is located.. especially one that flowers and dies and doesn't show itself again until the following spring. ...or to mark the location of a deer browse survey so the data is on exactly the same patch of woods each time. ..or Boy Scouts doing a compass exercize. ... how many more can people think of? I've never seen one that was any help in finding a geocache.

Edited by edscott
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I've also used those little flags in my work in the environmental field. We sometimes mark out sampling locations with them, or use them in conjunction with a survey. Even the middle of the woods is fair game for us! I used about a hundred of them at a summer camp here in Michigan! :lol: We've also encountered them in use related to utility markings (water, sewer, electric, etc.), but that might be odd depending on how remote an area you're in.

 

I can't think of any "sinister" reason they'd be there, though.

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Be aware that hunters this time of year will often be scouting out potential locations for a deer stand so that it can be set up now so the deer become accustomed to it before the hunting season begins. The flags could be the hunter's markers for his trail into the area he plans to hunt.

 

General advice for any flags out there is just to leave them alone and make every effort to follow the idea that cachers leave as little impact on an area as possible. If it is a hunter's trail or a survey trail, or some other legitimate use, you'll be in for the cache, out, and the person leaving the flags will never be disturbed. Same goes for nefarious flagging. Just don't mess with stuff, and you won't be messed with.

 

Of course, the hunter angle is a good reason to remind everyone that the time of year where international orange is MANDATORY is fast approaching. NEVER enter woods in the fall without it, whether or not it is hunting season. Not every hunter follows posted hunting seasons, and getting nailed by a poacher because you forgot your orange will definitely ruin your day.

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I visited a cache last week, and there were several flags, and some flagging tape along the trail marking, so it seemed, large dead falls. Other recent visitors noted similar, the idea one person posted was that the park system was planning on removing those trees.

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When in college, my wife found a line of red flags on the side of the road. She pulled one out, asked a friend what it was, and put it back when neither of them could figure it out. Turns out, she didn't put it back exactly where she found it.

 

Two weeks later, she's driving down that same road and notices a line of twenty crepe myrtle trees. They were all planted in a perfect row. EXCEPT FOR THE LAST TREE which was two feet closer to the road; the very spot to which she returned the flag.

 

The only purpose to moving the flags would be to P*** off someone else. I say leave the flags be.

 

Then again, if you ever FIND a bundle of those flags discarded and unused, feel free to stake out a neighbor's yard.

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When in college, my wife found a line of red flags on the side of the road. She pulled one out, asked a friend what it was, and put it back when neither of them could figure it out. Turns out, she didn't put it back exactly where she found it.

 

Two weeks later, she's driving down that same road and notices a line of twenty crepe myrtle trees. They were all planted in a perfect row. EXCEPT FOR THE LAST TREE which was two feet closer to the road; the very spot to which she returned the flag.

 

The only purpose to moving the flags would be to P*** off someone else. I say leave the flags be.

 

Then again, if you ever FIND a bundle of those flags discarded and unused, feel free to stake out a neighbor's yard.

hehe...thats too funny!! I could picture it...

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...Consider how your local area is used. What would someone be marking?

That's what I want to know. Considering the number of flags I have seen in an area, and the areas where I have seen them, I believe the scientific/environmental sampling explanations are the most likely explanation.

 

The next most likely explanation is the little, tiny communists. :laughing:

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Locally, the flags are used to mark survey points, for veg or wildlife surveys. The flag is the center point for a circle where everything inside the circle is inventoried. A GPS will record the coordinates of the plot center. The flag basically is just a marker in case the crew must return to that particular inventory plot. There may or may not be a number marked on the flag with a felt tip pen.

 

Plastic flagging is used for a number of purposes. Each local area has a color code -- here red is a property line, blue is a project boundary, red and white together is a monumented surveyors corner, et al. You can buy nearly any color combination in candy stripes, polka dots, checks, etc.

 

Plastic is being phased out, being replaced with a cornstarch based polymer that breaks down after a few years and is not toxic to critters that decide to eat the flags.

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It's a secret new game played on another website; it's part of a movement to expose the covert plans of geocaching.com to gain economic control the world.

 

The best thing to do is to move all the flags a short distance. This scrambles their signals just enough to confuse them.

 

Never remove the flags. Removing them will automatically cause a red flag to appear. ;);)

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Locally, the flags are used to mark survey points, for veg or wildlife surveys. The flag is the center point for a circle where everything inside the circle is inventoried. A GPS will record the coordinates of the plot center. The flag basically is just a marker in case the crew must return to that particular inventory plot. There may or may not be a number marked on the flag with a felt tip pen.

 

Plastic flagging is used for a number of purposes. Each local area has a color code -- here red is a property line, blue is a project boundary, red and white together is a monumented surveyors corner, et al. You can buy nearly any color combination in candy stripes, polka dots, checks, etc.

 

Plastic is being phased out, being replaced with a cornstarch based polymer that breaks down after a few years and is not toxic to critters that decide to eat the flags.

so any thoughts as to what mine were?

 

8-21133.jpg

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