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We are looking for a 12-letter word.

fwf 8


Other (independently solvable) puzzles of this type: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10.

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    $\begingroup$ Auto-upvoting this series at this point. Very fun and clever puzzles! $\endgroup$ – jafe Apr 29 at 15:44
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    $\begingroup$ @jafe thanks a lot! $\endgroup$ – sarsaparilla Apr 29 at 17:18
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Observations

The flags here are

flags of the international maritime signal flag alphabet.

enter image description here

Also, in each circular round of flags, there is

a little arrow pointing out just by one flag. Maybe this shows where we should rotate each round to.

Decoding (two stages)

In each case, I'm

starting from the one with the little arrow by it and going clockwise, turning each flag into a letter.

Starting from the innermost ring:

G S I R
P D U Z W
S T R A N G E R
F V B H K P V G L
Z M U J G L E Y J J C W
E A Y Q F U Y Q E K A G Q M F F T Q N M D

The only one of these which makes sense right away is

the third ring from the middle, STRANGER - the only one where that arrow points upwards. So maybe the position of the arrow on the others marks a Caesar shift? (Edit thanks to @Stiv: there are also 26 little marks around each ring, indicating exactly how far we need to Caesar shift each time. Also, thanks to hints from OP, the positions of the little arrows are chosen so that, when converted to letters and shifted one place forwards in the alphabet, they spell MY NAME - see below for why this makes sense.)

Trying that:

GSIR with a Caesar shift of 4/22 becomes COEN.
PDUZW with a Caesar shift of 12/14 becomes DRINK.
FVBHKPVGL with a Caesar shift of 13 becomes SIOUX CITY.
ZMUJGLEYJJCW with a Caesar shift of 24/2 becomes BOWLING ALLEY.
EAYQFUYQEKAGQMFFTQNMD with a Caesar shift of 12/14 becomes SOMETIMES YOU EAT THE BAR.

Finding meaning

Now we have enough words to

Google and find this film clip (or see transcript) which is obviously being referenced here.

So the 12-letter word is

SARSAPARILLA. Which I realised only a day later is the OP's username!

Feedback section

That was fun! Each step through the puzzle needed a little bit of thinking - enough to make it a small challenge, not so much as to make it un-doable without hints. Firstly to recognise the flags, then to figure out the order within each ring, then to figure out the next stage of decryption, then after getting meaningful words to figure out what to do with them. You've hit a good spot with the difficulty level here.

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    $\begingroup$ If you look closely you can see that rot13(rnpu jurry vf znexrq jvgu 26 oynpx yvarf - gurfr uryc vaqvpngr gur Pnrfne fuvsg lbh erdhver (fgneg jvgu neebj cbvagvat hc nf n fuvsg bs 0, gura pbhag ebhaq 'gvy lbh ernpu gur synt jvgu gur neebj). Sbe gur prager evat, pbhagvat nagv-pybpxjvfr lbh gurersber arrq n fuvsg bs 22. Guvf genafsbezf TFVE gb PBRA - gur oebguref jub qverpgrq gur svyz!) $\endgroup$ – Stiv Apr 29 at 16:18
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    $\begingroup$ That was a quick solve! Also, the rotations weren't chosen randomly... $\endgroup$ – sarsaparilla Apr 29 at 17:16
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    $\begingroup$ @sarsaparilla Bahaha, I was so engrossed in the puzzle itself that I hadn't even noticed how well your username fits here :-D $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Apr 30 at 7:04
  • $\begingroup$ @Randal'Thor just before you hit 100k rep (impressive btw!), can you spot the clue hidden in the way the rotations were chosen? $\endgroup$ – sarsaparilla Apr 30 at 11:54
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    $\begingroup$ @Randal'Thor ah, the string should be read from outer to inner ring. OK, maybe I took this too far .... lol $\endgroup$ – sarsaparilla Apr 30 at 13:03

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