Is it okay to wear the American flag as clothing?
So should you or should you not wear the American flag as clothing?
I feel like I’ve heard conflicting information my whole life and being that I’m an etiquette instructor who teaches flag etiquette, I wanted to have good info to teach my students so I did some research and I think I’ve come to a conclusion. Here’s my take on it:
The US Flag Code states “The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery.”
I take that to mean THE FLAG should never be used as clothing. Meaning don’t wear an actual flag around your shoulders or tied around your body. I tend to think that clothes with a flag printed on them or clothes with red, white, and blue patterns are fine to wear.
And I feel even better about that decision because the American Legion agrees and the American Legion was one of the main organizations that helped draft the US Flag Code back in the 1920s. They go so far as to say “Unless an article of clothing is made from an actual United States flag, there is NO breach of flag etiquette whatsoever. People are simply expressing their patriotism and love of country.”
The whole purpose of the flag code is to preserve the dignity of the flag. So as long as your clothing isn’t disrespectful to the flag, I think you’re good to go!
But I encourage you to have conversations with your kids about flag etiquette and make a decision that is best for your family.
If you’d like to learn more, get access to my full 5-minute video lesson on flag etiquette or check out this article about how to fly a flag at half-staff at home- even if you don’t have a vertical flag pole!
Flag etiquette is one of my favorite topics to teach. Showing respect to the flag is pretty easy to do but what it represents is just so much bigger than most of us understand.
Thanks for reading and may God bless America.