Extend-o-matic Series A1 Deployable Flag

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A flag on the surface of the Mun
The plaque of that flag opened
Symbol of that flag viewed from another craft

The Extend-o-matic Series A1 Deployable Flag is an object that can be planted by a kerbonaut on EVA since version 0.20. Known simply as a “flag”, the Extend-o-matic can be customized with designs chosen and made by the player. With 0.21 it is possible to choose a flag prior to every launch. The default flag can be chosen on the start of a new save and can be changed later on the flagpole at the astronaut complex.

Since 0.21 every Kerbal carries one flag every time he begins an EVA. Previously a Kerbal had only one flag, when he started the flight. Kerbals can also recover multiple planted flags and plant them again. To plant, right-click a Kerbal and click “Plant Flag”. Every flag has a name and a plaque; the text of both can be chosen upon planting.

Planting a flag grants a Kerbal the highest amount of experience (XP) available for visiting that world, a little more than just landing (e.g. 5 XP instead of just 4.6 for a Mün landing). Since 1.2 a single flag planting grants the additional XP to all landed (or splashed down) Kerbals within physics range (crafts also loaded), avoiding the need for repetitive flag planting 'parties'.

Planted flags are treated as vessels by the game. They appear in the tracking station and map view in their own category and they can be "controlled" (although they can't actually do anything) to examine the area around the flag. Before 0.23.5 when time warp in the space center view was impossible flags were a useful way to time warp if the craft was in low orbit and the time warp factor was restricted. The flag's name will be visible in the tracking station but the contents of its plaque can only be viewed by having a Kerbal approach and examine it. Vehicles can collide with planted flags and they can be knocked over by sufficient force. Flags can also be taken down by a Kerbonaut on EVA.

Flags can be useful during research on multi-biome worlds to mark those biomes, with a flag with the name of the biome, which were already visited by a manned landing mission.