The black and orange was introduced in the 1960s I think (hard to remember and can't be bothered to look it up) to tell the competitor there was something wrong with the car that he might not be aware of. The black flag is of greater age and required the competitor whose number was displayed with it to stop at the pits next time round. The black flag was for anything the CotC needed the competitor to stop for (including potentially unknown mechanical trouble in the days before the introduction of the black & orange).
That's the reverse of what "10kDA" wrote but I doubt motorcycle and car racing were different.
Per AMA's most recent competition rulebook:
"AMA Vintage Road Racing Rules
4. BLACK FLAG: Indicates a safety violation. The rider in
question should as quickly and safely as possible, pull off
of the racing surface and inspect their machine or report to
the nearest corner station. Failure to respond may result in
disqualification. In most cases, the offending rider’s
number will be displayed on a board at start/finish.
5. BLACK FLAG W/ ORANGE DOT (Meatball Flag): The rider
must complete the current lap and report immediately to
the officials on pit lane. This flag may be used to indicate a
jump start or other grid infraction as well as any other
situation where the officials deem it necessary to have a
rider brought in to inspect the rider’s machine or have a talk
with the rider. In most cases, the offending rider’s number
will be displayed on a board at start/finish."
Per CCS and ASRA, who between them funnel riders to AMA's Road Racing Grand Championship, apparently:
"SECTION 4 - FLAGS AND COMMUNICATIONS
4.1 OPERATIONAL FLAGS:
4.1.4 Black Flag with Orange Disc – Rider infraction- report to the Pit Steward
on the next lap. Failure to respond will result in penalties. Officials are only required to display the flag and bike number once to the field. It is the riders responsibility to respond on the next lap. In all cases, failure to report within three laps or before the conclusion of the race, which ever is shorter, will result in penalties at the Referee/Race Directors discretion.
Unless otherwise announced, the rider will be penalized one-lap. The
assessment of this penalty is not protestable.
Black Flag - indicates a mechanical problem with your equipment. Starter
will display the flag and bike number, corner stations will use a debris flag
display then point at the rider and machine. Signal that you are slowing,
get off the racing line, then reduce speed and stop at the first safe position,
preferably a corner station that can notify you of what the equipment
A. Failure to properly respond to a Black Flag will result in immediate disqualification. Penalties levied as a result of this infraction are not subject to protest or appeal."
Per MotoAmerica, who organize and opereate the Daytona 200 for themselves and the AMA:
"d. Black Flag
1. This flag is used to convey instructions to one (1) rider only and is waved at selected flag marshal post together with the rider's number. The rider must stop at the pits at the end of the current lap and cannot restart when this flag results from a penalty.
2. This flag can also be presented to a rider for a reason other than a penalty (e.g. to rectify a non-dangerous technical problem such as a transponder issue).
3. Any infringement of this rule may be penalized by Race Direction.
e. Black Flag with orange disk (40 cm)
1. This flag is used to convey instructions to one (1) rider only and is waved at selected flag marshal posts together with the rider’s number. This flag informs the rider that his motorcycle has mechanical problems likely to endanger himself or others, and that he must immediately leave the track."
Things seem to have changed greatly since I raced with these organizers. MotoAmerica and ASRA did not exist, and AMA ran their own national championship road races. It appears the only road racing AMA sanctions directly is now Vintage. MotoAmerica is connected with Dorna at some level so it's possible their flags are consistent with European/World championship rules. I may have an old AMA Camel Pro rulebook around somewhere to verify, but I'm 90% certain flagging in those races was consistent with CCS-ASRA-AMA Vintage rules.
I raced with WERA quite a bit as well, but I could not get any of their links to open. Search engine teasers indicate they had a 2021 schedule but I don't know. I hope they've survived. They were always great to work with back in the day, not always the case with the AMA championship or lower-tier programs. Their flagging was black = safety/equipment, meatball = report to an official. I'm 100% sure on this because I got a couple of black flags accompanied by dry-erase boards showing my race number.
Edited by 10kDA, 27 July 2021 - 11:06.