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I don't know about persist flags, but as a quick-and-dirty solution,  you 
could either use something like the 'pause' Gnuplot command:
 
pause 10
 
or 
 
pause -1 "Hit any key to continue"   
 
 (pause 10 will hold the graph for 10 seconds etc.) or you could have  the 
plot exported directly to postscript format,
so you can see it using ghostview, using the following Gnuplot  commands.
 
 
set terminal postscript enhanced color
set output  "my_nice_plot.eps"
plot sin(x)
 
Best regards,
 
Axel 
 
PS. For the use of Gnuplot, here is a very nice description/tutorial:
 
_http://t16web.lanl.gov/Kawano/gnuplot/index-e.html_ 
(http://t16web.lanl.gov/Kawano/gnuplot/index-e.html) 

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