More and more engineering practice indicates rock mass is prone to lose its stability through crack coalescence under dynamic loading, such as blasting and earthquake. However, the crack coalescence pattern of rock specimens containing two or more flaws has not been studied comprehensively under dynamic loading. In this paper, the mechanism of the crack coalescence and peak strength of sandstone-like materials containing two parallel flaws are studied under uniaxial static and dynamic loading with strain rates 1.7×10-5 s-1 and 1.7×10-1 s-1. Through the comparisons of the propagation length, coalescence pattern of the cracks and strength increase of the pre-cracked specimens under static and dynamic loading, the dynamic response of the crack coalescence is found different from static loading under different geometric setting of the flaws. The inertia effect of the crack propagation is revealed under dynamic loading, that is to say, the growth of the secondary cracks tends to the original propagation direction, and the direct and immediate coalescence is taken place easily between two pre-existing flaws, which is different from the kinking coalescence under static loading. So, the inertia effect of the crack propagation is regarded as the main cause of the strength increase of the brittle material under dynamic loading for medium strain rates. In virtue of the explanation, another cause of the mode II shear fracture occurred under earthquake is opened out.