I believe dipping thr flag it is briefly lowering the pole, not the flag. Instead of straight up, the pole is held at a diagonal. Very similar to tipping once hat (wih a slight nod), a gesture of courtesy, respect, and loyalty to a common cause, i.e. peaceful competition in sports.
That’s right. It was considered a matter of courtesy and is a military custom. Ex. When military vessels entered a Foreign port they were expected to lower the flag, usually half way as a sort of dip then back to the original position. US military formations used to carry two flags one national and one to designate the formation. The formation flag would be dipped to dignitaries and the national flag was left in place. It’s an old custom to show national pride, but honestly I think we’ve more than made our point since the last century. As a citizen, I’m really fed to the back teeth (old Appalachian expression) with unilateral thinking. There are many countries out there and they deserve the same respect that they give to us, even Belgium and Lichtenstein. Ok Andorra too. Cool flag. My favorite, I collect them BTW is the one my exchange student from Basque country gave me. Yes the basques do have a national flag. Much to the chagrin of the Spanish.