It is called flagellum, flagrum and, in plural, fagra, those traditional Roman instruments with which those destined for physical punishment were flogged. In general, these were short-handled whips, made with small iron chains that ended in weights, or small pieces that protruded, and that caused great damage to the skin of the punished. Similarly, we speak of the biological flagellum, a kind of appendix with the ability to move that is present in a large number of unicellular and multicellular organism cells. On the other hand, there is the nejej or flagellum flagellum, an agricultural instrument used for the collection of cereals, made up of two canes, one longer than the other.

It can be considered a scourge of whipping to any instrument with strings tied to the end of any rod or handle. It is possible to distinguish it from the whip by the simple constitution that both present, but which is unique in each one of the cases, since the whip consists of a long piece of leather that thickens towards its base, it is quite manageable and allows to injure the punished from a far distance. Currently, this is considered one of the most important symbols of classical antiquity and the cruelty of the penalties imposed.

Another instrument of great antiquity and that has a special symbolism is the flail, which is very simple, but of which around 7 different types have been identified only in Atlantic Europe. This has been used since Roman times and helped increase the numbers of the annual harvests.