A flash is intended to keep the bit quiter in the horse's mouth. It's something I use on breakers or very green horses, or those with 'issues' taking a contact.
Unfortunately it is now being misused by many riders, to seal the jaw shut to stop the horse moving the jaw. If your horse is ple ing it's mouth or crossing its jaw, there's an issue that clamping its mouth shut is not going to solve.
As for the loops on a noseband without using a flash, I have NEVER known a Dressage judge to mark down on that. I leave the loop on my bridle because I use it on various horses, some needing a flash and some not. I certainly cannot afford to buy multiple bridles if not required, at this point in time. And I compete on a state level in official Dressage competition.
If you're getting pulled up on something as petty as a small loop on your noseband, the judge probably needs some training!
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