In addition to booleans, there are atomics for pointers, integrals and user defined types. The rules for user-defined types are special.
The remaining atomics - in contrast to std::atomic_flag - are partial or full specialisations of the class template std::atomic. Let's start with std::atomic<bool>.
Atomics guarantee two characteristics. At one hand, they are atomic, at the other hand, they provide synchronisation and order constraints on the program execution.
The atomics are the base of the C++ memory model. Per default, sequential consistency is applied.
Since C++11, C++ has a memory model. It is the foundation for multithreading. Without it, multithreading is not well defined.
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