In regards to the Deputy and Marshal badges, what is the policy on flagging questions after one has the Cast close and re-open votes privilege? It says at this point one should not flag questions for moderators anymore, simply vote on them. Does this mean that these two badges must be gained before 3,000 reputation? Given, there are still situations where flags are appropriate after this privilege is gained, but should those who are able to vote still pursue these badges or leave them be?
I've earned both badges over on Stack Overflow, and they did not exist until after I had already exceeded the 3000 rep level and had VTC privileges. There are still a lot of other ways that flags are important, though, and which contribute to your helpful flag count:
- Flagging "Not an Answer" posts - If you check the recent posts list regularly you can easily find several per day.
- Spam and offensive flags (rarer on this site)
- Flagging comments counts toward your total, AFAIK
- Anything that warrants an "Other" flag, such as migrations to sites other than SO/Meta.AE, voting irregularities, or other general disturbances.
Also, if you come across a paticularly old post that you really think should be closed (but is unlikely to receive much traffic), I would consider flagging it with the "Other" reason after you have cast a close vote, then briefly explaining your reasoning. Although there are tools available to 10k+ members and mods that show recent close votes, it's easy to neglect them, whereas flags are very prominent. That's probably not going to get you into Deputy/Marshal territory with any kind of speed, though.