so let's say that an item can have 20 flags - a flag being a simple boolean true/false. i want each item in a mysql db to have these 20 flags defined. in this case i would just add an 'int' column to the table and use the bits of the int to be the flag values. this works great. now, here is the question: let's say i want 100 flags. i can't use a single int anymore, since it doesn't have 100 bits. i could always make X int columns to span the 100 bits, but this doesn't seem elegant to me. is there a better way to imlpement flags in mysql that ints? i guess i could make a string that was like "01010100100101..", but one reason why ints are good is that i can use bit operations when selecting rows i.e. "select blah where (flagint & 4 > 0)". is there anything like that for strings, like "select blah where char(flagstring, 4) == '1'"?