# I Don't Start the Fight

I don't start the fight -but I finish it.
I take a side-view approach to it all.
Yet when I work, the best will benefit.
Just stay focused, drawn by my silent call.

When I get up, everyone pursues me.
When I lie down, I am still remembered.
My presence is thrilling -to some degree.
The group of fighters is ever membered.

Try as I might, I have little power;
So many like me can run the nations.
But right here, it is always my hour.
All come to me, restraining all patience.

They see me, my details are absolute.
When they catch me, they always overshoot.

Who/What am I?

Hint 1:

Those who do not come to me praise those who do. They would not be "fighters".

Hint 2:

To some, I look like a battlefield for monarchies.

• Apologies to all you poets out there, but my iambic pentameter is far from suitable for reading. Jun 24, 2019 at 21:27
• It's not that bad! +1 :) Jun 25, 2019 at 0:24

This guess is based on the second hint:

Checkered flag

I don't start the fight -but I finish it.
I take a side-view approach to it all.
Yet when I work, the best will benefit.
Just stay focused, drawn by my silent call.

The checkered flag is raised at the end of a race ("fight"), not the beginning.
The checkered flag is located to the side of the finish line.
The checkered flag is raised for the winner ("the best").
You need to stay focused to win a race; the flag is silent.

When I get up, everyone pursues me.
When I lie down, I am still remembered.
My presence is thrilling -by some degree.
The group of fighters is ever membered.

When the checkered flag is visible (during the last lap?) everyone tries to get there first.
Even after the race is over, the winner/finish is remembered.
The finish of the race is the most trilling part.
The racers are remembered?

Try as I might, I have little power;
So many like me can run the nations.
But right here, it is always my hour.
All come to me, restraining all patience.

The checkered flag has no power, unlike other flags (caution flag, etc).
There are other flags such as each nation's flag.
At the race track, there is no other objective.
During a race, everyone races to the checkered flag as fast as they can (no patience).

They see me, my details are absolute.
When they catch me, they always overshoot.

The checkered flag is distinct from other flags.
When you finish a race, you overshoot the finish line.

Hint 1: Those who do not come to me praise those who do. They would not be "fighters".

The audience praises the racers.

Hint 2: To some, I look like a battlefield for monarchies.

The checkered flag looks like a chessboard.

• Correct answer. Note the racers are membered (as in many), not remembered. The "absolute" detail just refers to black and white. Jul 9, 2019 at 1:33

Are you thinking of

The MIA flag?

I don't start the fight -but I finish it.
I take a side-view approach to it all.
Yet when I work, the best will benefit.
Just stay focused, drawn by my silent call.

The MIA flag is raised after a conflict is over, as a source of hope that those who could not be located are alive and well, and drives people forward in their search.

When I get up, everyone pursues me.
When I lie down, I am still remembered.
My presence is thrilling -by some degree.
The group of fighters is ever membered.

Written on the flag are the words "you are not forgotten", signifying the fact that the search for those lost is never truly over, and goes on until closure is finally found.

Try as I might, I have little power;
So many like me can run the nations.
But right here, it is always my hour.
All come to me, restraining all patience.

The MIA flag is the only flag that is flown alongside the US flag at the white house. It does not represent any country in particular, and therefore has no true "power" in physical might.

They see me, my details are absolute.
When they catch me, they always overshoot.

Because the MIA flag is one of the only flags in the world that is printed in black and white, it stands out and can be recognized from a distance. the "overshoot" line could be referring to the production of the flag, which is also unique for having the exact pattern front and back, while most other flags are mirrored on the back, leading to the MIA flag requiring a different production method.

• The MIA flag never occurred to me, which does fit most of the clues very well. There are a few lines that don't really fit here (i.e. "The best will benefit", "restraining all patience"). The final line is also critical to the answer. Jun 26, 2019 at 21:34