In an effort to investigate the physics involved in the initiation of high power microwave surface flashover, a strong direct current (dc) electric field was introduced to the flashover region. The primary objective of this study is to demonstrate that an external electric field can have a significant impact on the delay time for surface flashover. It has been observed experimentally that the statistical and formative delay times for surface flashover can be varied depending on the polarity of the applied dc field. This external electric field may sweep possible breakdown initiating electrons away from the flashover region prior to the application of the high power microwave pulse. A distinct increase in the average statistical delay was observed primarily with a superimposed dc field in a positive polarity geometry as well as a decrease in the formative delay for either polarity in 167 mbar of nitrogen.