DFWTCP, since you lights are "bi-xenon", the same HID unit provided low and high beams. The low beam is its shape because a movable cut-off "shutter" is in the lowered position (i.e. gives the _______/-------- pattern). When you either flash the lights, or switch to high beams, the cut-off shutter is raised, thus allow the full lighting pattern to be projected. If you were running during the day with only the H8-illuminated DRL's (both inner and outer 'corona rings' or angel-eyes) operating, pulling on the light stalk for "flash-to-pass" would indeed fire up the HIDs. Not sure that cycling on and off so quickly is the best thing for them, but that's how it is in DRL mode.
If you want to whiten up the AE's, there are a number of solutions in the lighting section
...most notably newer, high-powered LED modules to replace the H8 halogen bulbs.