Bear Flag vs Bull Flag in technical analysis

By | April 20, 2020

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A bear flag pattern is easily identified in the chart as an intensive price decline and a short upward consolidation . The flag breakout downside indicates the continuation of the bearish trend; you can open short positions. Every trader has many times come across the bear flag pattern, which resembles a pennant. The formation got its name due to the fact that after a consistent price decline, a slight upward correction occurs, resembling a flag. However, this is a common misconception in trading, as the price continues to move in the direction of the original trend after a pullback.


Next, the rebound should take place within an ascending channel, while we monitor the degree of the correction. Overall, both are bullish patterns that facilitate an extension of the uptrend. Harmonic patterns are used in technical analysis that traders use to find trend reversals. By using indicators like Fibonnaci extensions and retracement… If we are astute traders who understand support and resistance, we could have gauged the quality of the bull flag as a small consolidation along the way to the resistance area above.

No matter how strong your analysis is, you may not have a successful trade due to the market supply and demand mechanism. Note that both types of flag patterns will definitely form after a sharp rise or fall, if a sharp move is not observed, the transaction will be very risky. In addition, in order to validate the flag pattern, the volume of trades in the initial movement, price stabilization and the continuation of the price movement are important. Trading with a bullish pattern helps you to recognize the continuity of the trend and easily use large price jumps in trading. A bullish flag is a technical pattern that provides an accurate entry point to participate in a strong bullish trend. Many professional traders use this continuing pattern to find the optimal levels for trading along with the trend.

To set a target in a bullish flag pattern, utilize the difference between the parallel trend lines. Although bull flags indicate a continuation of the current trend, making a move too early can be a mistake, as there is always the chance that an initial breakout could be a false signal. Waiting until the price breaks above the upper trend line may be your best bet. As said earlier, the bear flag is a continuation pattern that facilitates the extension lower. As a chart pattern itself, the bear flag makes sure that traders are able to identify the stage which the downtrend is currently in.

What is a Flag Pattern?

After the flag consolidates below the flag line, you enter a short trade. A sharp drop usually occurs amid negative news or weak economic data. Just like with any other chart pattern, the main objective of a bull flag is to allow traders the opportunity to profit from the market’s momentum. In this way, entry and exit points can be determined by studying the trajectory of the pattern’s trend. No pattern will always provide rewards, but they do substantially lower the risk of trading.

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As you can see above, AMD experienced a sharp drop in the price of its stock. Once the drop concluded, the value of the stock began to consolidate and started trending slightly higher. These price fluctuations provided us with our much-needed support and resistance lines. Of all the various price patterns that exist, the bearish flag pattern is among the easiest to identify and confirm as it only consists of five characteristics. A flag pattern is a commonly observed technical analysis pattern used to identify potential continuation of current market trends.

Is the bear flag pattern bullish or bearish?

Bear flag vs Bear pennantThe bear flag and the bear pennant are chart patterns used to identify bear markets. They both appear as downward-sloping trends that are followed by a brief period of consolidation before the price continues its decline. Both patterns indicate bearish activity and can be used to anticipate potential reversals and prepare for short positions.

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Meanwhile, with the pattern, the idea is to make short-term trades in the direction of the dominant downtrend. A bearish flag is formed when there is a sharp downward movement and immediately afterward a short upward price stabilization. The world’s best traders have a variety of trading strategies. However, one of these strategies is to use ascending and descending flag patterns.

Bull Flag pattern trading strategy

In addition, it is easy to confuse it with other technical analysis patterns. Therefore, it is recommended to use candlestick analysis in combination with this pattern. Downward consolidation develops next, which is represented by the bull flags structure itself.

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Active traders would be well advised to commit this phrase to memory. A confirmation where the price moves in the same direction as the breakout. The information and publications are not meant to be, and do not constitute, financial, investment, trading, or other types of advice or recommendations supplied or endorsed by TradingView. All investments involve the risk of loss and the past performance of a security or a financial product does not guarantee future results or returns. JSI and Jiko Bank are not affiliated with Public Holdings, Inc. (“Public”) or any of its subsidiaries. None of these entities provide legal, tax, or accounting advice.

Difference between bull flag and pennant

However, some traders may wish to give it more room to avoid wiggles and place their stop at or under the lower trendline on uptrends and lower trendline on downtrends. Using the second trendline stop-loss may be more costly but it avoids wiggles at the first trendline from triggering premature stops. To offset some of the risk, lighter shares can be used when trailing the second trendline stop-loss. The exit plan on a bull flag pattern is to place your stop at the lowest part of the flag. Your exit target is the length of the flagpole that is added to the bottom of the flag.

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Later in the morning, you might see a better formation on the 5-minute chart. Or, like our AMC example, you might see a clean setup on the 30-minute chart. Notice the difference between the bull flag example above and this pennant example. Both look bullish, but the structure of the pattern is slightly different. A bull flag and a pennant can both resolve in the upward direction. However, a pennant is different in that it is usually a 50/50 scenario.

For instance, when looking for a bear flag vs bull flagish flag pattern, start by identifying the flagpole, which represents the initial price increase. Next comes a period of consolidation, during which prices may fluctuate slightly downward or sideways. Finally, watch for a breakout and a continuation of the bullish trend, completing the pattern. The bearish flag is exactly the inverse of the bullish flag pattern.

The bear pattern succeeds when the price breaks below the bottom line. When the price consolidates, the Volume indicator is expected to decrease as bulls aren’t strong anymore. Simultaneously, the upward breakout of the flag’s resistance will signal the strength of bulls, so the trading volumes should increase. Traders often look for ways to enter a trend, and waiting for a consolidation breakout is one such method.

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Notice how on this 30-minute chart, AMC has been mostly range-bound for a few days, bouncing between support and resistance. As you can see from the image above, the context is everything when comparing a bull flag to a bear flag. That being said, they are both very similar and should be treated almost identically, just in different trending contexts. I should note that this pattern is visible most clearly on larger timeframes, since the pattern may behave incorrectly on smaller timeframes.


If the flagpole was formed by a move downwards, it forms a bearish flag. If the support of a bear flag is broken, traders can be more confident that the price will continue to move downwards by the length of the pole. Once you understand how the bull and bear flags work, it will be easy to identify them.

pennant pattern

These lines can be either flat or pointed in the opposite direction of the primary market trend. The pole is formed by a line which represents the primary trend in the market. The pattern, which could be bullish or bearish, is seen as the market potentially just taking a “breather” after a big move before continuing its primary trend. The difference between a bullish and a bearish flag is in the direction of the price movement. With the bullish flag , the idea is to participate in a strong uptrend.

The views, information, or opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and not to the author’s employer, organisation, committee or other group or individual or company. Just like any other indicator, the bear flag can be unreliable. This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision. To limit losses in a fakeout scenario, it is important to place a stop loss just above the entry levels.

Next, we have to wait for the breakout from the consolidation phase. That means that you should place your short order as the “flag” zone of this chart pattern ends. Let’s take a look at an example of how you might trade a bear flag pattern. Regardless of which strategy you use, it is important to keep in mind that this pattern is best used in downtrends.