vote to close or flag exact duplicates? or both?
I have the rep to vote to close and usually do for bad questions. My Question is are flagging and voting to close the same thing in effect when should I do one vs the other.
You should flag for moderator attention when there is a problem with a post that isn't being handled by the usual voting mechanisms for closing and deletion, or when the problem is not covered by the usual close reasons.
Pay particular attention to the flag reasons:
Note that, if you choose the "It doesn't belong here" reason, the dialog will change to a "Vote to Close" dialog, so flagging for moderator attention for this reason amounts to the same thing as a vote to close.