Meaning of Git checkout double dashes

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What is the meaning of the double dashes before the file name in this git command?

git checkout --ours -- path/to/file.txt
git checkout --theirs -- path/to/file.txt

Are they mandatory? Is it equivalent to

git checkout --ours path/to/file.txt
git checkout --theirs path/to/file.txt


Suppose I have a file named path/to/file.txt in my Git repository, and I want to revert changes on it.

git checkout path/to/file.txt

Now suppose that the file is named master...

git checkout master

Whoops! That changed branches instead. The -- separates the tree you want to check out from the files you want to check out.

git checkout -- master

It also helps us if some freako added a file named -f to our repository:

git checkout -f      # wrong
git checkout -- -f   # right

This is documented in git-checkout: Argument Disambiguation.