White Flag
by Dido

Album: Life For Rent (2003)
Charted: 2 18
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • In battle, a white flag signals surrender. By stating there will be "No white flag," Dido indicates she will not give up on the relationship.

    Dido met a lawyer named Bob Page in 1995, and he inspired some songs from her first album, including "Thank You" and "Here With Me." They got engaged, but called off the wedding in 2002. Ultimately, they weren't able to patch things up. Dido married someone else in 2010.
  • "White Flag" was the lead single from Dido's second album, Life For Rent, released in 2003. The previous few years were quite tumultuous for her not just personally, but also professionally. She's from England, but came to America to launch her career, earning a deal with Arista Records from her demo. Her gentle, introspective songs fit the Lilith Fair aesthetic, but that sound was falling out of favor in 1999 when her debut album No Angel was issued. The album had modest sales (by Arista standards) of about 200,000 copies, but no hits emerged and it looked like she was on the downswing. Then, at the end of 2000, Eminem sampled "Thank You" on his hit "Stan," providing a wellspring of publicity that sent sales of the album soaring. In her native UK, it proved especially popular, selling 3 million copies.

    "White Flag" kept her momentum going, rising to #2 in the UK and climbing to #18 in America. The Life For Rent album also did well, but by this point Dido had been touring and doing publicity for a solid five years. She got off the road in 2005 and didn't return until 2019, although she did put out albums in 2008 and 2013.
  • Dido wrote this with Rick Nowels, who also worked with Michelle Branch on her hit with Santana, "The Game Of Love."
  • "White Flag" won for Best Single at the 2004 Brit Awards. It also earned Dido an Ivor Novello Award for International Hit Of The Year. Those awards are held in honor of Ivor Novello, the British musician and songwriter who died in 1951.
  • The term "shipping" from the line "I will go down with this ship" can refer to fan fiction, where fans create relationships (thus the "ship") between characters that they hope will happen.
  • Joseph Kahn directed the music video, which features the actor David Boreanaz, best known for playing the title role in the TV series Angel, a spin-off from Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Kahn is a prolific music video director with a laundry list of clips from a variety of artists. Some of his other videos that tackle tough relationships: Brandy & Monica's "The Boy Is Mine," Destiny's Child's "Say My Name" and Kelly Clarkson's "Behind These Hazel Eyes."
  • A Neo-Nazi website misinterpreted the meaning of this song to be about white supremacy and used it as their theme tune. When she heard about this, Dido was disgusted that her music was been used to promote racial hatred and successfully had the website closed down. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Adam - Dewsbury, England

Comments: 24

  • Marshall from Skelmersdale Lancashire EnglandWhite flags bring tears of happiness to me,
    Dido you are amazing an a beautiful lady thank you for your fabulous song's xxxx
  • Ralph Durante from Fairbanks AlaskaThis song all of her songs are beautiful. I only wish she had more. Love her music and so happy about her live today 2021
  • David Mcgarrity from Lennox Head AustraliaFor everyone who is confused as to why she is saying there will be no white flag when she may actually appear to be surrendering . The thing she will not surrender is the love she feels in her heart for her ex partner. She accepts that the love she feels will not be acted upon and the relationship will not start again. But the feeling of love itself she will not surrender
  • Terra from UsAt:Thomas from Denmark
    One thing I can't get: Why does she sing: "There will be NO white flag above my door?" Isn't she surrendering? Isn't she "going down with the ship"? I don't understand why she sings "NO white flag"....Can someone help me out here...
    I can help you. She says " I WILL go down with this ship. Meaning she goes down fighting for her love even until it breaks her and she sinks. I WONT put my hands up and surrender. I'm not going to just let you tell me I don't love you. There will be NO White a flag. A white flag is a victory for what destroyed her love. And NOTHING will destroy her love....
  • Onomea from New JerseySurrender?? That's the thing...Dido is NOT surrendering. Yes, her and her lover broke up. But - she did not. She will forever hold onto the hope of love...the love again she had.
  • Leah from Lincoln, UkI absolutely love this song so much. I was introduced to this song at a funeral of a family friend. Not a failed relationship. This song keeps the memory of the person, who grew wings and went be with his family above, alive. I do change the lyrics around a bit to be a bit more personal to me. But I will always love this song, no matter what.
  • Thomas from DenmarkOne thing I can't get: Why does she sing: "There will be NO white flag above my door?" Isn't she surrendering? Isn't she "going down with the ship"? I don't understand why she sings "NO white flag"....Can someone help me out here?
  • Leo Lynn from Sacramento, Cathis message is for Benjamin, of Monroe, Washington, who related loving this song despite having struggles with suicidal emotions related to having a breakup...Ben, I have written a novel that deals with the search for true love that leads to the deepest of human emotions related to lost love..."The Stone Heart" is a tragic tale of a man literally driven to the edge of a cliff that ultimately relates a message of hope to battle the despair you and others are experiencing...find this book, read it, and, hopefully, discover the light that exists in love and life's darkest moments...
  • Alma from Laredo, TxAn awesome song for all relationships.
  • Tori from Partyin Mardi Gras Style, Lai caught my dad singing along 1 day wen we were listening 2 the car in the radio. my dad always likes great asongs, so i listened 2 (i mean, really listened) & now i luv it. truly do. its an amazing song.
  • Thao from Cantho, Viet NamI have listened to this song for years but i'm just really crazy about it recently. I don't know why but there must be a reason!
  • Tom from Dallas, TxI was introduced to Dido with "Thank You" by a girlfriend. I included "White Flag" in the playlist I put together after we broke up. Quite a parallel between her writing the songs and my listening to them.
  • Benjamin from Monroe, Wai absolutely love this song. it makes me cry. im currently in a residential treatment facility for suicide attempts and a major depressive disorder that was mainly sparked by a terrible break up. this song tells exactally how i feel. 'im in love and always will be'
  • Eleanor from London, EnglandBest song ever. Let me take that back. One of the best written songs-EVER.
  • Harry from Thomson, NvThis song is a love at first hearing. Amazing song and it truly needs a big heart to keep loving after your girl is gone and still love without expecting anything from her.
  • Glenn from Los Angles, CaNot many songs along this line of thinking have been written. It's okay to love my old girl in my heart till I die though I know she is not going to come back and has moved on.
  • Scott from Bellevue, WaArguably one of the best songs in the world evvvvvvver. You lost your lover and you still love her without affecting her. Truly terrific song backed up by a great tune. It's not a surprise Dido won so many awards for this song.
  • Jesse from Seattle, WaYou know what Dido means if you've loved once in your lifetime...and it got too late for you to convey it to the other person...Wondering why she just released 2 albums with this kind of talent. Hear it with repeat-on and the beat/lyrics will sink into your soul.
  • Alen from Chicago, IlI have liked this song ever since I have heard of it but have never imagined I would be relating my life with this song.

    Yes, there will be no white flag. I'm in love, and always will be......
  • Sara from Traverse City, MiI love this song, it makes me feel like no matter what in a realtionship you can give it up or try to keep it alive. It's an amazing song.
  • Ben from Pensacola, FlI too love this song. I do find complete humor in the fact above though.

    'A Neo-Nazi website misinterpreted the meaning of this song to be about white supremacy and used it as their theme tune'

    I can just see a room full of skinheads sipping wine with Dido playing in the background. Crying on each others shoulders about how hard seperation from their cell mates is. ROFLLMAOROFLLOLOLOLOL
  • Elle from Railand, WaThis is the best song ever the momment I first heard I loved it I looked up the lyrics and found the tittle, then I bought the CD and had it in my Cd player on repeat. I can really relate to this song and it helps me get through to my feelings. Now that I've heard this song I never want to listen to any other voice or song. This is an amazing song, I absolutly love it.
  • Gerald from Tacurong City, Otherthis is a very good song!probably of the century!
  • Jo from Aa, AfricaWhite flag is a real song and for whatever reason that she worte it I really don't care, but love what it says and kinda says what I feel... in a way!
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