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Why flagging Jira issues is so cool?

Adding a flag to an issue is a cool way to say it is blocked. Also, you can add a comment as part of the same action from a board. But what if you want to do the same from the issue detail view?

This article will guide you through the usage of flags and will provide a native solution to emulate the feature of adding a flag along with a comment from the issue detail view.


In this article

  • The two native ways to add a flag
  • What makes flags so cool?
  • Blocked status vs adding a flag
  • Building a solution to flag & comment from the issue detail view


The two native ways of adding a flag

First things first, how can you add a flag to an issue?

Natively, there are two ways of adding a flag to an issue.

Adding a flag from the issue detail view

For adding a flag from the issue detail view, just click on the ellipsis button [...] > Add flag on the top-right corner:


This will just add a flag with no way of adding a comment as part of the same action, unlike when you add a flag from a board.

Adding a flag from a board

For adding a flag from a board, either a Kanban or a Scrum one, right-click a card > Add flag:


Note this time a dialog will pop-up so that you can also add a comment along with the flag, explaining why the issue is blocked:


A flagged issue is highlighted to easily detect it among unflagged issues:


But hey! That's not all! The comment added through the previous dialog is also included to the issue detail view and is also marked with a flag at the begining of the comment:



What makes flags so cool?

Flagging an issue is a cool way to say it is blocked:

  • Flags look great on a board and the card gets a convenient background color which makes them highlighted and easier to detect, so that someone takes action to remove this impediment.

  • Adding a flag from a board allows to add a comment which will also be marked with a flag. Suggesting to add a comment improves the chances that the user explains why the issue is blocked.

  • Flagged issues are searchable in JQL:
    flagged = Impediment

    And this is for finding issues without a flag:
    flagged is EMPTY

    Not to confuse with flagged != Impediment wich always returns no issues!
    This is because in != means "with a value distinct from", and there is no value in that field for unflagged issues; it is empty instead.
  • Flags allow to quickly see the status where an issue became blocked.


Blocked status vs adding a flag

Blocked status advantages

Reporting the time an issue was blocked is an easier task if you use the Blocked status instead of a Flag.

Furthermore, the Jira native field Status also supports powerful JQL operators like WAS and CHANGED, which are useful for several use cases.

Flag advantages

On the other hand, flagging an issue does not produce its status to change, so you can still quickly see where in the workflow the issue became blocked.

This fact provides the advantage that you can know which of your blocked issues is more likely to be completed with less additional effort.

Besides of that, it also means that you need one less column on your board, reducing the likelihood that you have to use the horizontal scrollbar.

From the Jira Admin perspective, the usage of Flags is better than transitioning to the Blocked status, since the very same workflow will then be valid both for users who want to mark issues as blocked as well as for users who don't.


The Blocked status advantages rely on configuring anything else.

You get the Flag advantages merely by using them, with no need for configuring anything else.

Also, I have noticed quite oftenly than a Blocked column tends to be set aside, so that those blocked issues don't disturb the vision of issues in which users can continue working, with the risk of forgetting about them.

Blocked issues should be highlighted to see if there is anything that could be done to unblock them.

In my opinion, Flags are better than transitioning to the Blocked status unless there's a very specific requirement to think otherwise.


Building a solution to flag & comment from the issue detail view

The step by step solution is described in this article!

Thanks for reading!


Thanks for this article ! Especially pros for each options

Like Ignacio Pulgar likes this

Totally agree that the most important advantage of using flags is that you can see where in the process an issue is blocked. As an additional benefit of using flags instead of a blocked status - in properly built workflows - is that you don't need to provide paths to several different statuses to unblock an issue. When an impediment gets resolved, all you need to do is remove the flag. 

Like # people like this

Hi @Ignacio Pulgar ,

Thanks for this article!

Like Ignacio Pulgar likes this

@Ignacio Pulgar , thanks for the well structured article. I think it will be useful to many! 👍

Like Ignacio Pulgar likes this

Thanks for sharing @Ignacio Pulgar !
Hope you are doing well mate, we miss you a lot.

Like Ignacio Pulgar likes this

Hey @Jack Nolddor _Sweet Bananas_ !

Long time no see! I miss you all as well!

We should go for a beer one of these days.


A helpfull description. 

I just have one questions from my users - How can I see in Issue search that an issue is flagged?

I can find the Impediment, however it would be mush nicer if the issue search also colored the line as in backlog.

Do you know whether this is possible?

I am running a data server version

BR Jette 

Hi @jej ,

Highlighting the row of a flagged issue in the Issue Navigator is not doable natively.

Theoretically, it would be possible to achieve that behavior in Data Center, provided the Flagged field where shown as a column in the Issue Navigator. However, please note this would be a workaround and a bad pratice which may result in unexpected bugs and glitches popping-up.

Potential solutions to be researched further could be based on any of these approaches, which are based on somehow injecting your own JavaScript and/or CSS:

  • Add custom JavaScript and/or CSS to the Announcement Banner (executed for all users). See this example on how to inject your custom code. This code would be executed for all users in your instance.
  • Inject JavaScript and/or CSS just on your own web browser by installing an extension for that purpose. Custom JavaScript and/or CSS would need to be added as well. One popular browser extension for Chrome is Tampermonkey.
  • Possibly too, inject JavaScript and/or CSS through Script Fragments (requires ScriptRunner).

Please, note these kind of changes are not recommended at all.

Best regards

Like jej likes this

Hi @Ignacio Pulgar 

Thank you very much for your answer. I'll report back to the requestor that there is no recommended solution  

Best regards

Like Ignacio Pulgar likes this

Hi @Ignacio Pulgar,

When adding a flag via the context menu, using the little comment box which pops up, it doesn't correctly display special HTML characters when viewing the comment later on the issue. For example, flagging an issue with the following comment using that menu: "I'm unable to progress with this task." would be displayed on the issue as "I'm unable to progress with this task.".

As we're on a JIRA free plan, we don't have a dedicated support line, so I hope it's okay to raise with you here.

Kind Regards,


Hi @Dylan Davis ,

That's a known bug:

Feel free to watch it.


can we use flag feature in jira work management!

Like Giovanni Giazzon likes this

@Mubashir paray the flag feature is only available in Jira Software boards at the moment.

+1 to have this feature in Jira Work Management

Like Ignacio Pulgar likes this

It would also be great to have the same yellow highlighting in Epics (see JRACLOUD-73999), filter search results, and Jira query tables in Confluence.

My one frustration is that the Priority icon is replaced by a red flag icon in board and backlog views such that I have to view the issue to determine the priority.

Like Ignacio Pulgar likes this

Is it possible to query the date the flag was added and the the person who added the flag?

Also we have a use case for a follow up date?  The person who added the flag wants a reminder notification of the issue?

Hi @CC ,

Here you have one potential way for covering that requirement:

  1. Create a custom field named Flagged by of "User Picker (single user)" type.
  2. Create a global automation rule with the following logic:
    • Trigger: Field changed: select the Flagged field for all issue operations.
    • Condition: If-else condition
      • IF block - Add condition: Field Condition > If Flagged is empty
        • Action: Edit Field > Flagged by > None (clear the field value)
      • ELSE block (if the issue is flagged)
        • Action: Edit Field > Flagged by > User who triggered the event
  3. Create a filter with this JQL: "Flagged by" = currentUser()
    Save the filter with the name "Flagged by me".
    Share the filter with your Organization.
    Let user(s) know that they can subscribe to that filter.

Hope it helps.


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