This is done IOT cause a certain reaction of the population or Government or to allow for justification of a specific reaction. This reaction can be either against the third party such as war or criminal charges or to justify a general action such as passing of laws or regulations pertaining to the situation that "caused" it.
One possible example of this is the Reichstag fire in Germany shortly after Adolf Hitler was sworn into power. On February 27 1933, the Reichstag building, home of the German parliament in Berlin, was set on fire and was blamed on a Dutch communist actor. There has long been speculation that it was German operatives that staged it to look like the communist (The event or means).
The day after the fire the Reichstag Fire Decree was signed into law which suspended most civil liberties in Germany, including habeas corpus, and freedom of expression among others which were not reinstated at any time under the Nazi regime. The decree was also used by the Nazis to ban publications not considered "friendly" to the Nazi cause (the Ends).
False Flags can also be done on the corporate and business levels but are usually referred to as framing at that scale.
A False Flag is never meant to be identified and typically anyone that attempts to bring attention to the suspicious nature of the event, is considered a conspiracy theorist and subsequently dismissed. While there are almost never hard facts to prove a False Flag event, there are many indicators. One or two or three don't necessarily prove anything but each should be considered a Red Flag. A Red Flag is simply a cause for suspicion and concern to the validity of the public narrative or accepted nature of a major event.
RED FLAGS, INDICATORS OF A FALSE FLAG
》The event is a spectacular one which is followed by immediate widespread media coverage with the major news outlets being all or mostly in sync on the story.
》Within a short period of time a "mark" ("scapegoat" or targeted person/associated group) is named and established as an enemy with little to no investigation into other possibilities.
》The mark in the case of an individual is usually quickly killed, commits suicide, or has some other accident.
》The mark leaves a manifesto or some form of communication claiming credit or justification that is used to further demonizes the scapegoat or the organization.
》The mark has no history or obvious motive to commit the act.
》Evidence gets collected improperly or inadvertently destroyed by the investigators allowing no other investigation to be conducted successfully.
》The case will be closed and action will ensue almost immediately, with someone or a group possibly profiting financially, often large corporations or wealthy individuals.
》The events happen when the stakes are high, the more shock value from the event, the less people generally question it.
》People or organizations that question the validity of the scapegoat are labelled crazy, insensitive, unpatriotic, or conspiracy theorists.
》Foreknowledge of the event is later discovered and the "victim" organization took no precautions against it.
》Conflicting eyewitness accounts of the event either immediately or shortly after.
》Witnesses that go against the established theory have accidents or die in the weeks following the event.
》A major law, executive order, mandate, or removal of freedom is able to be achieved due to public support
Summary: If a False Flag event is discovered it is not until long after the goals are already accomplished and by then most people have lost interest, moved on to the next big event or tragedy or the evidence has already been destroyed or lost.
One example of a possible false flag against a specific third party is the gulf of Tonkin incident that has long been speculated to be a false flag justifying the Vietnam war. A confirmed example of false flags to push an agenda is at least two confirmed fires last summer in California that were started by an activist trying to make the fires worse in order to blame alleged anthropogenic climate change. If they are discovered early on the people who bring it up are generally ignored by the populace at large and/or labeled in a way that discredits them whether intentional or not. This causes most people to not press the issue even if they may believe the event was a false flag. As long as people continue to be governed by emotions, have short attention spans, demonize those that investigate alternate possibilities and fail to demand people be held accountable when they are discovered, false flags will continue to happen.
The best that we can hope to accomplish in the meantime is to identify them personally as quickly as possible and then identify what (whoever is truly perpetrating it) hopes to accomplish. Then fight it in whatever way we can, whether that is through our political representatives or boycotting brands, companies, products or simply spreading the word and trying to expose the truth. If we don't, well, Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.