May a flag be worn in clothing?

Discussion in 'US Flags on Uniforms and Clothing' started by EmailPoster, Jun 6, 2006.

  1. Frey

    Frey Guest

    Sorry, i guess it was the confederate flag i was thinking of.... I am getting senile in my old :eek:
  2. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    Sorry, I guess I was thinking that the Union Jack was a British flag

    LMFAO!!!!!! the union jack IS the UK flag!!

    Of course, the USA has a "union jack" also. It is plain blue, with 50 white stars, arranged the same way as on the American flag. The American union jack flies on the bows of US Navy and Coast Guard ships when the ship is in port. (At least, it did until a few years ago. In 2002, the Navy replaced the union jack with the so-called "First Navy Jack" for the duration of the war on terrorism. The Coast Guard, however, still uses the union jack.)

    The American union jack has been used on US Navy ships since the Revolutionary War (of course, it had 13 stars back then). It has also been unofficially used on merchant ships from time to time -- you'll see it in many paintings of ocean liners and early steamboats.

    The use of the British union jack on vessels is regulated by law; only ships of the Royal Navy can fly it and others can be arrested and fined for doing so. This is not the case with the American union jack, which can be flown by anyone.

    Peter Ansoff
  3. coplay

    coplay Guest

    The code states that you should not wear a flag.

    As a retired military member and the spouse of a USAF Officer we see shirts and other cloth's with the flog on them at the base exchange. If it were not permissible they would not sell the items in the exchange.

    If it makes you uncomfortable then do no wear the item. I myself have a shirt with many flags on it. I wear this shirt on Flag day, 4th of July etc...

    I believe that you show your pride in our country by doing so.

  4. habu5150

    habu5150 Guest

    The flag code (section 3) states:

    The words ``flag,
    standard, colors, or ensign'', as used herein, shall include any flag,
    standard, colors, ensign, or any picture or representation of either, or
    of any part or parts of either, made of any substance or represented on
    any substance, of any size evidently purporting to be either of said
    flag, standard, colors, or ensign of the United States of America or a
    picture or a representation of either, upon which shall be shown the
    colors, the stars and the stripes, in any number of either thereof, or
    of any part or parts of either, by which the average person seeing the
    same without deliberation may believe the same to represent the flag,
    colors, standard, or ensign of the United States of America.

    Section 8d. states:

    The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or

    According to this any representation of the flag is considered, in fact, a flag and should never be used as wearing apparel.

    Just because something is sold on base, does not mean it is within code. I had this same discussion on the way to a military funeral last week. I serve on the base honor guard and we noticed a torn flag flying at a house across the street from the church. Most of the honor guard members were unaware that flags on clothing are not allowed by code. Please note that my son has a flag shirt and until recently I was unaware of this part of the code.

    The flag is considered to be living and is due respect. Individuals who display the flag must accept the rights and responsibilities as such.

    It is not my place to tell you what you can or cannot due. The flag code does not specifiy punishment, as this would be a violation of protetion of free speech as provided under the first admendment. Just as someone has the right to burn the flag as an expression of free speech, you have the right to wear on one a T-Shirt.


    Aaron B. Santry, SSgt
    McConnell AFB, KS

    Flag Rules and Regulations
  5. YCHistorian

    YCHistorian New Member


    Does the UK have a "flag code" similar to that in the US? The reason why I ask is that it seems that the Union Jack has been, and still is, being made into all sorts of clothing. This was very popular back in the 1960's, especially with the Carnaby St. crowd (I think). Is there any law in the UK that prohibits using the Union Jack in an article of clothing? Thanks. -YCHistorian
  6. No - the UK has no flag code

    but then flags arent seen in the same light as they are in the USA
    but i dont hear of many disrespectful acts on our flag really either - such as burning it or being purposly disrespectful

    union flag and england flag clothing is available in the shops and online to buy should you wish to wear it
    it is not disrespectful here to wear the flag- either on clothing or the flag itself or to write upon the flag

    personaly i think flag clothing is ace i very much like to see people weaing clothes with flags on them

    i am here in england and i enjoy wearing US flag clothing i just got some ace new pants which im wearing today- one leg is full of stars the other is vertical red and white stripes!
  7. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    Although it's not clearly defined, the modern custom seems to be that it's OK to depict the US flag on clothing (T-shirts, etc.), and it's also OK to wear clothing that with stars-and-stripes motifs (like Uncle Sam's costume). What's not OK is to cut up an actual flag and use it to make clothing.

    The section of the Flag Code that Habu 5150 quotes above is applicable only within the District of Columbia, and it is the only section of the Code that includes enforcement penalties. It is also blatantly unconstitutional, and I'm sure that it would be overturned if anybody bothered to challenge it.

    The use of the British Union Flag at sea is regulated by law; it can only be flown by ships of the Royal Navy. However, as a_f_uk stated, there is no equivalent of "Flag Code" for civilian use. In fact, there is no law that even says it is the national flag of the UK. It is used to represent the UK at the United Nations, at British diplomatic posts, and other such locations, but this is by custom only.

    Peter Ansoff
  8. McBuffs

    McBuffs New Member

    I have been told that flag protocol tells us that it is improper to wear a flag lapel pin unless it is on a uniform - military, police, fireman, etc. I am a Vietnam era Naval Flight Officer in my late 60's and no longer wear any kind of uniform. Therefore, I have retired my lapel pin. Out of repect for the flag and the country, I suggest everyone do the same.
  9. hi there and welcome to USA flag site

    ANYBODY can wear a flag pin!
    if you wish to wear the pin then you may! theres absolutley no need to stop wearing it!

    its not disrespectful to wear it at any time

    go ahead and wear it and show your patriotism and pride in your country!
  10. David Peck

    David Peck New Member

    This is my first time posting on this site. I just found it on Google. I have a question on a different subject.

    I'm deployed to Iraq. I just got a care package with a square bandana American Flag and a Sharpie pen. The instructions say to have those serving with me to sign the flag and send it home as a keepsake. First, it doesn't seem right to sign a flag. Even though it's not the correct dimensions, it is a depiction of the American Flag. I've seen people sign real flags for retirement gifts and keepsakes also. Second, having a flag depicted on a bandana doesn't seem right.

    What are your thoughts on these two issues? I’ve seen posts about “…to each his own…â€￾, but I’m a conservative guy and would rather be overly respectful to the flag than exercise my freedom of expression.

    Thanks for your time,
    CWO2 David Peck
    Camp Fallujah, Iraq
  11. Hi there David! I'm not Peter but i can still answer your question :)

    A bandana is not a real flag - that doesn't mean it can be treated disrespectfully - but it does mean the rules of etiquette are different.

    Personally - i would say yes to wearing the flag on your head - and no to writing on it - there must be some other things you and friends could sign to send back home.

    Just for the record heres a visual image of what i think of wearing flag clothes!

    Thank you for your service in the military
    i am greatful
  12. figmo124

    figmo124 New Member

    don't need to destroy the shirt as you would a flag, because it isn't really a flag.


    I'm trying to understand: when is a flag a "real" flag?

    If I make and wear a shirt that is (printed) fabric in the exact proportions and colors of the flag, but it wasn't finished for a flagpole FIRST, then is that a flag?

    But If I take a commercially made flag (embroidered, OR printed fabric) and sew it into a shirt, then that is (was) a real flag, and real desecration?
  13. Paulhudds

    Paulhudds New Member

    First time on here, so be nice!

    The UK does have a flag code, but like our constitution, its not packaged into a handy little book like the US flag code. It consists of a whole bunch of laws governing its use, usually separately. Parts for the military, parts for the government, and its underlings, then for the general populace. Problem is, FINDING all this stuff!

    Though, Gordon Brown, in his determination to stop the English from kicking him out (He is Scottish) He is pushing "Britishness" and is trying to get some new rules for the Union Jack. I know its not the official name, but its much better than Union flag.

    Still, its all cool. People should be proud to wear their colours. After all, the flag is a bit of cloth which helps unify people. And a group of people are much stronger together than apart.

    And it is the Olympics! Go nuts! Thats what I say!
  14. trollz

    trollz New Member

  15. NAVA1974

    NAVA1974 Active Member

    It is violation of the US Flag Code to wear the US Flag as clothing, but the courts have upheld citizens' First Amendment rights to do just about anthing they want with the US flag as an expression of free speech. Inclding wearing it or burning it.
  16. trollz

    trollz New Member

    I've seen many pieces of clothing made with our flag as the colors.. But I do not know of anyone who has made clothing from a flag. There is a BIG difference. BUT..... If a soldier, sailor or Marine wrapped themselves in our flag for warmth or as a bandage while fighting for our rights and freedoms, so bee it. More power to them, They earned the right to embrace the flag !
  17. Adam Cappps

    Adam Cappps New Member

    I wrote an article about this very topic. It highlighted the decisions of the supreme court for flag desicration.

    Flag-Burning, Is It Legal

    Like nava said, in the flag code it does say it is disrespectful but that doesn't make a difference to the Supreme court.
  18. designer123

    designer123 New Member

    in my opinion, it is not expectful for our country!
  19. Caleb

    Caleb New Member

    Should you be uneasy about it, you aren't required to wear it, although you should not eliminate this top while you would certainly a new banner, as it isn't actually a new banner.
  20. Marebear_56

    Marebear_56 New Member

    The Flag Code is referring to actually WEARING a REAL Flag. Several years ago while watching the summer Olympics I saw family members of the US Swim Team actually WEARING THE FLAG as a cape in the stands when they weren't waving it! I wrote to the Olympic Committee and before the Olympics were over, the swimmers' families had stopped. I STILL see runners who win and make their victory lap holding our flag above them, yet end up WEARING it as a cape. I wrote to them too, but to no avail. Sorry folks, THAT IS DISRESPECTFUL and they should be ashamed as well as our whole track & field team. IMHO.

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