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Posted (edited)

@JoelR : OK, I’ll be the asshole, but the final photo is just fucking offensive.  It’s a violation of the U.S. Flag Code to wear clothing in the form of the flag.  True, the Flag Code is only endorsed by Congress; it’s not statutory.  So I’ll tolerate basic clothing items that violate it.  But having this douchebag giving a double — double! — bird is beyond the pale.  I loathe photos in which the model gives the finger to the viewer.  Is that his opinion of us?  Really nice.  And sticking out his tongue at us, to boot?  So the flag boxers just add insult to injury.  There are dozens of other flag-apparel photos available, including many already on AM.  You couldn’t have chosen one of those?  I’m really disappointed.

Edited by JackFTwist

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I have to agree with @JackFTwist about the last photo.

Should or can you wear the American flag as clothing? Many people like to show off their patriotism by wearing the American flag as clothing, but is that proper etiquette according the US Flag Code? The issue can be a controversial one, especially around major patriotic holidays like Independence Day and world events like the Olympic Games.  The U.S. Flag Code says, “The Flag Code addresses the impropriety of using the flag as an article of personal adornment, a design of items of temporary use, and item of clothing. The evident purpose of these suggested restraints is to limit the commercial or common usage of the flag, and, thus, maintain its dignity.”

So what does that mean? You should not use the American flag as an article of clothing. However, in 1976 an amendment was made that allowed uniforms for military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic groups to use a flag patch or pin near the left side, closer the heart. But it is important to remember that the Flag Code is only intended as a guideline to be followed on a voluntary basis. The Code was originally created to ensure proper respect of our flag. While the Flag Code may not be enforceable by law, many citizens think wearing the stars and stripes is offensive.

According to Troy Patterson at Slate, "The flag represents a living country and is itself considered to be a living thing." So while your t-shirt with a flag printed on it isn't the same as wearing the actual flag, you're also considered to be representing your country by wearing the flag. Therefore, if someone's flag apparel is worn in a disrespectful manner it can definitely be seen as offensive.  The last photo, in my opinion, meets that criteria.  However, according to the American Legion, unless you're wearing the actual flag as a dress wearing clothes printed with the American flag is not breaking any rule or etiquette code whatsoever.

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I agree, @Steve.  As long as it's worn tastefully, I don't see a problem.  The Flag Code, like you said, is similar to the Pirate's Code as Barbossa so often reminds us, "They're more like guidelines".

Of course, one person's definition of "tasteful" might vary somewhat from another's.  But I'd rather see someone wearing the flag proudly than see them take a knee anytime.

I also agree that the last photo is in poor taste, @JackFTwist.  But keep in mind that for those of us alive during the Iran hostage ordeal in 1979/80, it was popular to wear the T-shirt with Mickey Mouse flipping the bird with one hand and proudly waving the flag with the other and a caption that read, "Hey, Iran!"  So not ALL birdies are necessarily offensive IMHO.


That all being said, a hot, beefy guy wearing a stars and stripes thong on the beach would entice me to stand and sing the national anthem anytime.  Hell, I might even salute (though not necessarily with my hands).  ;^)


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