Can You Wear the American Flag as Clothing?

Should or can you wear the American flag as clothing? Here is what the U.S. Flag Code says about wearing the American flag.

Many people like to show off their patriotism by wearing the American flag as clothing, but is that proper etiquette according to 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 to 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 for our flag.

While the Flag Code may not be enforceable by law, many citizens think wearing the stars and stripes is offensive. What do you think? Is wearing clothing with an American flag on it a way to show USA pride or simply offensive? Tell us your thoughts.