A few years ago, my Australian fiancée and I were in Los Angeles when she suddenly slapped the shit out of my shoulder and shouted, “Flag slap!”
I looked at her like stunned while she laughed, pointing at an American flag that waved atop a pole. And “Flag Slap” was born.
Ever since that fateful day, Flag Slap — the greatest game invented since baseball—has become a fixture in our relationship, both at home and abroad. I encourage every single one of you to play it with the people you love.
The rules are simple:
- When you see the national flag of the country you’re in, slap your opponent’s shoulder (not too hard! come on) and shout, “Flag slap!” It counts for one point.
- If you “flag slap” your opponent, only to realize the thing you saw was NOT a flag but a discarded hot dog wrapper, you lose two points (though you can’t go lower than zero — meaning if you have one point, and mess up, you don’t go to minus-1).
3. First to ten points wins.
4. Once someone reaches ten points for the day, the game is over until the next morning (don’t try to flag slap someone at 12:01a.m. and think you’ve done something. Respect the game, people!).
4. If no one reaches ten points in a day, no “win” is registered.
5. Player with the most wins in any given country during the course of a year is deemed a National Champion. The person with the most countries won is the Overall Champion. The loser should get the National Champion a trophy. Overall Champion trophies are considered gauche.
“The national flag must be a real flag (plastic is fine). It can’t be a sticker, or a painting, etc. It must be a flag, IN FULL.”
6.The game is “live” from the morning of January 1 until 11:59 p.m. on December 31. Note: it’s game-on in your home country every morning of the year. If you go to a foreign country twice or more in a calendar year, the wins are cumulative.
7. The national flag must be a real flag (plastic is fine). It can’t be a sticker, or a painting, etc. It must be a flag, IN FULL.
8. If you are in a flag-rich country, you can decide that flags inside stores do not count (flag stores, junk shops that sell flags, etc.). This must be verbally agreed upon then confirmed via handshake while sharing intense eye contact.
That’s it! Now go out there and slap some shoulders, and tell me how it goes. And any questions or confusions, just ask. And just to brag: I’ve won France this year after netting Germany last year. It’s like all my dreams have come true.