from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To display the flag of one's country, especially as an expression of patriotic pride.
- v. Of a naval vessel or military force, to identify itself by displaying the flag of its country of origin, especially in order to establish an authoritative presence and to exert diplomatic or political influence.
- v. To represent one's country or some other group in a manner intended to suggest the authority or importance of that country or group.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Secondary missions included what navies have done since there were navies: show the flag and maintain "presence."
All he would need to do now was show the flag in a few forays around the country, perhaps found a city or two, then head back to Bactria so he could be on his way to India before the snows began to fall.