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Basic Trope: Members of one group impersonate another to perputuate to achieve a goal such as making an excuse for war.

  • Straight: The Empire has some of their soldiers wear The Kingdom's colors and attack The Federation in order to spark a war between the two.
  • Exaggerated: A tiny country publicly fields only a small force of defenders, but secretly has trained regiments that wear the colors of The Kingdom, The Federation and The Empire and sends them on raids to keep those three fighting each other.
  • Justified: They want to spark a war, but without being seen as the aggressor, so they frame another force.
  • Inverted: The Empire has some of their soldiers wear The Kingdom's colors and fight for The Federation against another foe in order to end a war between the two.
  • Subverted: The soldiers from The Empire involved in the plot were secretly in the pay of The Kingdom, and were supposed to be captured and reveal their true origins to trigger a war between The Federation and The Empire. The Empire was completely ignorant of the plot.
  • Double Subverted: Or so The Empire wanted them to believe. In fact, they let it happen, and arranged for all of the evidence of their soldiers' involvement to be erased, leaving The Kingdom unable to prove that the troops were actually from The Empire.
  • Parodied: All of the Empire's soldiers have a full set of uniforms from every kingdom and country in the world, just so they can do this.
  • Deconstructed: A few soldiers who participated in the assault become overwhelmed by guilt and reveal the truth, along with proof to back up their claims. Upon learning what really happened, mass rioting erupts in the manipulative country.
  • Reconstructed:
    • To avoid such an incident, the country pulling the false flag operation ensures that everyone under the false flags is slaughtered.
    • Alternately, they simply discredit the soldiers and paint them as traitors turning on their country in their time of need.
  • Zig Zagged: ???
  • Averted: The Empire invades in full force without warning.
  • Enforced: The writers want to establish that The Empire is not only evil, but sneaky and manipulative. Having them run a false flag operation also sets The Kingdom against The Federation, letting that drive the early plot before the eventual reveal of the truth.
  • Lampshaded: "You mean this entire war started because The Empire dressed as the enemy? That's exactly what happened in the last major war! Our government is so stupid!"
  • Invoked: [Impossible?]
  • Defied: The Empire repudiates such dishonorable tactics entirely.
  • Discussed: "I've got the perfect plan! To initiate a war between The Kingdom and The Federation, we should have soldiers pretend to be from The Kingdom and attack The Federation!"
  • Conversed: "Oh no, the villains in this story are Playing Both Sides! I wonder if the heroes will figure it out this time?"
  • Played For Laughs: Both sides of a conflict ride into battle pretending to be the other side's forces, leading to mass confusion when they meet in the middle. (Which actually happened with two WW1 ships.)
  • Played For Drama: Marianna's entire motivation for supporting The Empire is because The Kingdom invaded her Doomed Hometown and slaughtered everyone there. But the attack was actually staged by the Empire to justify their declaring war on the Kingdom...

Back to False-Flag Operation, and....wait! You're not a Troper!

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