Show One's True Stripes Meaning
(idiomatic) To reveal one's real beliefs, sentiments, or character, especially through one's behavior.
Example: 1996 Feb. 26, "Editorial" Against Change in Cuba," Miami Herald, p. 14A (retrieved 21 March 2013):
Fidel Castro showed his true stripes againâ€”as if they weren't indelible enough alreadyâ€”by letting his MiGs shoot down two of three unarmed Cuban-exile planes off Havana's coast on Saturday.
2002, Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex, ISBN 9780307401946 (2011 reprint), p. 363 (Google preview):
â€œNow they're showing their true stripes,â€ Iimmy Fioretos said. â€œThe Turks wanted to invade all along. That malarkey about â€˜protecting the Constitutionâ€™ was just a pretext.â€
2005 July 12, Danny Hakim, "With Sierra Club's Help, Ford Pushes a New Hybrid ," New York Times (retrieved 21 March 2013):
"My fear is that Bill Ford is showing his true stripes as just another short-sighted auto executive with no interest in the environment."