Description of the hat unlock requirement:

at least 5 flags dismissed as helpful and at most 20% of non-disputed flags declined

Does "dismissed" mean something unusual here, or is this hat not unlocking properly? I'm not sure if that means "since winter bash started" or "since your account was created": if the former, I've flagged 8 items so far today, of which 6 were marked "helpful" (the other two are still active; none have been disputed or declined). If the latter, the flag page indicates I've flagged 391 items (plus 6 for spam), of which 1 was declined (which incidentally, I assume that was by accident, given that the question was closed soon after for the reason I flagged it for), 1 was disputed (that one was legitimate), and 21 are still open. That is definitely way under 20%.

So what's up with that unlock?

edit: it appears to be the case (further edit: this has now been confirmed first-hand) that this hat unlock disregards any flags that are the flag equivalent of voting to close. I put forth that if this is intended behavior, well, it shouldn't be (if it's to equalize the playing field for over-3k-rep people, it should just also count votes-to-close. Though granted, I suppose in the scheme of things it really doesn't matter much, as it'll all go away in a couple weeks anyway. But dang it, I want to show off all the flagging I do! :p)

  • 1
    I have 8 flags today and all of most dismissed as helpful. I have been wondering why I didn't get the hat.
    – Walker
    Dec 16, 2013 at 23:25
  • @ChristmasUnicorn: And your flag type breakdown is? Dec 16, 2013 at 23:29
  • @MartijnPieters All of them on off-topic questions
    – Walker
    Dec 16, 2013 at 23:30
  • In the same boat- 16 flags marked helpful over 2 days and no hats. Flags are the following types: very low quality, unclear what you're asking,spam,too broad, off-topic Dec 18, 2013 at 19:21

1 Answer 1


The hat works just fine, at least for me. Do note that hats are applied in batches, it can take a few minutes.

The flags must be marked as helpful, and only new flags since the Winterbash started count. There is evidence that closing flags do not count either, see below.

Without being able to see your flags page, there isn't anything else anyone can say here; I've earned both the Defender and the Conspiracy Theorist hats today, so they do work. The Defender hat is, in fact, my personal favorite:

Eagle Ninja

It appears that not all flags types count, however. Closing flags are the only flag type that users with 3k+ cannot cast (they vote instead), and they are probably not included for this and the Conspiracy Theorist hats. There are plenty of flag types that all users can cast, including Spam, Offensive, Low Quality, Not an Answer and Other.

  • Makes me wonder if the "recommend closure" flags count towards the hat. That's the only thing I could think of that could explain it.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Dec 16, 2013 at 23:23
  • Ah, alright, that could be why, then. The other hat I got today was applied almost instantly, so I was assuming that was always the case. The earliest flag I filed today was 7 hours ago (which I believe was after I saw information up about winter bash 2013), and the most recent one was filed 28 minutes ago and marked helpful almost immediately. I don't know how much of a delay there could be, but I'll edit the question again if I still haven't gotten it by later today.
    – neminem
    Dec 16, 2013 at 23:23
  • @neminem: What type of flags did you make? It could be that not all types count. Dec 16, 2013 at 23:24
  • @neminem: My flag count went almost exclusively to 'not an answer' posts. Dec 16, 2013 at 23:25
  • @MartijnPieters 3x off-topic, 2x unclear what you're asking, 1x not an answer (with another off-topic and another unclear what you're asking active).
    – neminem
    Dec 16, 2013 at 23:26
  • 2
    @neminem: Right, that's 5 closing and one NNA. That could also play here. Dec 16, 2013 at 23:28
  • 3
    @MartijnPieters That would be really weird, as I would assume the majority of flags are some flavor of question closing flag (well, plus mod flags for closing for other reasons, i.e. legitimate question that belongs on a site other than the provided ones.) Why would you limit the hat to basically only flags on answers, and then not mention that? Weird. (Or possibly unintentional? :p)
    – neminem
    Dec 16, 2013 at 23:32
  • 1
    @neminem: Because low quality, not an answer, offensive, spam and other are all flags that all users can use. As a higher-rep user, I cannot use closing flags, I vote instead. Dec 16, 2013 at 23:34
  • @MartijnPieters So what you're saying is, if I want that hat, I should start flagging questions that deserve to be closed as low-quality rather than off-topic :p. (That is tongue-in-cheek, I'm not actually going to do that, but it does strike me as kinda dumb. But yes, I had noticed that - why I'm not in any hurry to get to 3k before I get that gold badge for 500 flags. Not that that's likely to happen anyway.)
    – neminem
    Dec 16, 2013 at 23:37
  • 1
    It is definitely not the thing about waiting for a batch, as I have now received another hat, but not this one. Your hunch about not counting flag-to-close flags is looking accurate, however. I would like to put forth that this shouldn't be behavior (couldn't it just count votes to close as well, if that were the issue?), but it does appear to be the current behavior.
    – neminem
    Dec 16, 2013 at 23:56
  • 1
    @MartijnPieters Confirmed: I just filed a VLQ and a mod flag, now pushing me to 6 flags since winter bash that were not "close" flags (and a ton more that were) - a few minutes later, I got Defender of the Realm.
    – neminem
    Dec 17, 2013 at 17:57
  • Cool, congrats on earning it! :-) Dec 17, 2013 at 18:02

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