The original song was on Justin's second album FutureSex/LoveSounds, but the remixed duet with Beyoncé is included on a deluxe edition of the record. This duet version was released as a single as a result of WGCI in Chicago playing Justin Timberlake's original version, prompting his record label to start promoting the single at urban radio stations across the country. It was then decided to remix the single, this time as a duet with Beyoncé, and shoot a video.
Timbaland co-wrote and co-produced this song. The previous time Beyoncé and Timbaland collaborated was on the Destiny's Child #15 UK hit "Get On The Bus" back in 1999.
The chart success of this song meant that Justin Timberlake became the first solo artist this decade to have 6 Top-40 Hot 100 hits from one album. The previous time a solo artist achieved this was Shania Twain, who lifted 6 Top-40 singles from her Come On Over album between 1997-99. Michael Jackson's Dangerous album, which spawned 6 Top-40 hits between 1991-93, was the last album by a solo male artist to reach the same heights.
The song's video is a live performance from Timberlake's FutureSex/LoveShow.
This was one of the songs Timberlake performed at the Super Bowl in 2018 between the Eagles and Patriots when he was the halftime entertainment.
Dido helped shut down a Neo-Nazi Web site after learning it was using "White Flag" to promote its hateful messages. Owners of the site had misinterpreted the track as racist and thought they represented their white supremacy views.